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BI Goes Mobile: The Combined Power of Watson and MobileFirst

November 15, 2016 No Comments

Featured article by Nate Vickery, business technology expert and futurist

Two weeks ago, at the World of Watson event in Las Vegas, IBM announced that they are bringing their Watson tools to the enterprise world in a big way. As it turns out, MobileFirst for the iOS apps can now be integrated with a set of cognitive abilities to help enhance productivity, decision-making and the experience of enterprise employees. Basically, with Watson’s abilities, enterprise applications will be able to comprehend, reason and learn using analytics, according to the press release.

Nearly two years ago, Apple and IBM joined forces in order to define the enterprise mobility market and ensure that professionals from all over the world enjoy their time at the office, the same experience they came to expect as ordinary consumers. With the combination of Watson’s cognitive technology and the new speech framework of the latest iOS, the possibilities seem virtually endless.

Who Will Benefit from These Apps?

At the moment, Watson is available for both MobileFirst for iOS applications, and IBM’s custom-built iOS apps, and it allows users to integrate APIs based on their specific needs. The main selling point of the technology is the fact that business users will be able to control these apps with speech. While there are many possible uses for this feature, it seems that it could be especially helpful for field technicians. The technology will enable them to interact with apps like IBM’s Find & Fix verbally. This will allow a technician to notify dispatch, input schedule changes and even tap into Watson’s knowledge reserves by asking a specific question, all while repairing equipment.

According to the GM of Apple partnership at IBM, Mahmoud Naghshineh, Watson APIs, like IBM NLP (natural Language processing) and Watson conversations, have been specifically optimized to work with the new iOS speech software. And the combination of iOS, Watson and IBM services is what allows the applications interact with the users, which in turn, brings deep insight to users and helps them make more cognizant decisions.

How Can Enterprises Use the Technology?

As we mentioned before, there are numerous examples of how companies will be able to use these Watson-integrated apps, and some of them include:

Financial Advisors

An advisor will be able to gain specifically-targeted search and trend analysis by using Trusted Advice with Watson’s learning technology. This will help them optimize the investment recommendations made to individual clients.

Retail Sales Associates

Sales Assist allows associates to access data across various resources, like customer databases, social media and online forums, which grants them deeper insights into a customer’s personal preferences as well as the latest shopping trends.

Flight Attendants

By using the Watson-enhanced Passenger+, attendants will be able to have an amazing insight into a traveler’s personality, which will enable them to deliver more personal customer care while in-flight. For instance, if the app reveals that certain passengers are strong brand advocates, the attendant may choose to prioritize their requests.

How Does the Technology Work?

In case you don’t know, each Watson installation consist of 2880 processor threads, has 16TB of RAM and can process over 500 GBs of data per second. One more thing you need to know about the Watson is that each machine is huge, so you might be wondering – how is IBM going to shrink the room-sized machine down to a size of a phone? The answer is simple – it isn’t. Instead, these apps are directly interfaced with an internet-connected installation, which means that they work in a similar way to Google Now and Siri. With new technologies like G.Fast promising near-gigabit speeds, these apps will be able to send your voice clip off to the installation for processing and return it to your device, in a matter of milliseconds.

Slack Integration

As Fortune reports, IBM also announced at this year’s WOW, that they are closely working with the collaboration platform Slack, in an effort to integrate some of Watson’s features into the platform. Their main objective is to develop new and improved chatbots and allow easy access to Watson services, like conversation, speech APIs and sentiment analysis. IBM plans to start everything by using the technology to power a new Slackbot for IT and network operations.

Nate Vickery is a business technology expert and a futurist mostly engaged in finding and implementation of the latest technology trends into management and marketing processes for SMBs and startups. Nate is also the editor-in-chief at a business oriented blog-




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