The excitement of Smarter Commerce


Most people lead busy lives, packed with business and family related obligations. I know that between business travel, conference calls, cheerleading, birthdays and other responsibilities, I have precious little time to focus on the barrage of emails or digital promotions that seem to fill up my mailbox each week.

It’s human nature to focus on items that stand out or offer something compelling. In the few minutes I have, I concentrate on the information I receive that is personal or valuable. The mobile technology revolution, the explosion of social media and the growth of digitization has driven an entirely new commerce experience for all of us — an experience that is just a fingertip away. But having the ability and freedom to view, respond and interact anywhere and anytime has down sides too.

At IBM, we understand that the shopping or browsing experience must be smarter. It needs to offer a personalized experience for users. They want personalized marketing that caters to their interests, simplified shopping streams and timely delivery methods. To provide this type of experience, retailers must synchronize their commerce operations and gain insights from many channels such as social and mobile. IBM’s Smarter Commerce offerings span the entire spectrum of commerce and respond to customer needs throughout the retail relationship. Today, retailers must:

  • Bring new economies to the supply chain process.
  • Optimize how they use distribution centers, sourcing and procurement.
  • Streamline the way they communicate with their customers through targeted messages.
  • Work more effectively with suppliers through more efficient contract management.

With IBM Power Systems, retailers can quickly scale to handle large volumes of online shoppers during times like the back-to-school shopping season, Cyber Monday or Black Friday, without affecting performance. Power Systems are built to manage demanding applications that rely on processing an enormous number of concurrent transactions and data while analyzing information in real time.

Power Systems are optimized for superior analytics with the ability to:

  • Process 200 million pages of structured and unstructured data within 3 seconds.
  • Turn 20 billion raw transactions into insights across 16,000 financial institutions.
  • Turn trillions of raw transactions into insights across 500 service providers.
  • Offer 40 percent better performance with POWER7+.
  • Defeat two Jeopardy! world champions with IBM Watson.

Power Systems also can raise the quality of customer service by boosting data availability and analysis. Retailers can easily personalize a customer’s shopping experience, which can lead to fewer abandoned online shopping carts.

This month, IBM extended its Smarter Commerce offerings with the launch of the new IBM Watson Engagement Advisor. This technology breakthrough, deployed on IBM Power Systems (on-premise or the cloud), allows brands to crunch big data in record time. It can transform the way brands engage clients in key functions such as customer service, marketing and sales. The new technology empowers customer service agents to provide fast, data-driven answers, or sit directly in the hands of consumers using a mobile device. With one click, the solution’s “Ask Watson” feature quickly helps address customers’ questions, offers feedback to guide their purchase decisions, and troubleshoot their problems.

I would like to invite you to learn more about IBM Smarter Commerce on Power Systems. Click here to read Smarter Commerce on Power Systems case studies. Click here to learn about the new IBM Watson Engagement Advisor.

Karl Cama is the CTO for IBM’s Retail Industry in Systems and Technology Group. With over 25 years of software development experience and a strong background in web analytics, he is focused on delivering optimized solutions designed to address the ever changing needs of the Retail industry. You can reach him on Twitter: @KarlCama.

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