IBM on Wednesday announced a global partnership with Twitter through which the social network's data will be delivered through the IBM Cloud, enhanced through various analytic services, and delivered as part of "unique solutions" for industries such as banking, consumer products, retail, and travel and transportation.
The partnership, which was announced at this week's IBM's Insight event in Las Vegas, will see Twitter data made available via IBM cloud-based services including IBM Watson Analytics and a cloud-based data refinery service that will enable developers to embed Twitter streams and analysis into apps on IBM's cloud. The first new services will be delivered in the first quarter of 2015.
IBM and Twitter are also promising new enterprise applications for specific industries, starting with an IBM ExperienceOne customer engagement application that will enable sales, marketing, and customer service professionals to "map sentiment and behavior to better engage and support customers," according to a statement from IBM.
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There's no shortage of companies making use of Twitter data -- Oracle, Microsoft, Salesforce.com, SAP -- so it's not abundantly clear what's unique in the IBM-Twitter deal, other than IBM's heft in cloud computing, analytics, and consulting.
"IBM brings a unique combination of cloud-based analytics solutions and a global services team that can help companies utilize this truly unique data," said Chris Moody, VP of Twitter data strategy, in a statement. "Companies have had successes with Twitter data -- from manufacturers more effectively managing inventory to consumer electronics companies doing rapid product development. This partnership with IBM will allow faster innovation across a broader range of use cases at scale."
The plan calls for Twitter data to enrich existing enterprise data streams to "support better decisions across industries and professions," according to IBM. As an example, social data can accelerate product development efforts by predicting long-term trends or it can improve demand forecasting by providing real-time insight into weather patterns, IBM said.
"Twitter provides a powerful new lens through which to look at the world -- as both a platform for hundreds of millions of consumers and business professionals, and as a synthesizer of trends," said Ginni Rometty, IBM's chairman, president and CEO, in a statement. "This is the latest example of how IBM is reimagining work."
Despite IBM's recent financial stumbles and sales declines, Twitter, like Apple, seems to recognize that IBM remains a powerful player in the enterprise arena that has the ear of major companies and that has connections with enterprises at a massive scale. As with the Apple deal, it remains to be seen if IBM can transform the world of enterprise mobile apps or social insight delivered at scale.
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