IBM unveiled a slew of new cloud solutions aimed at the C-suite. Big Blue is moving to help execs drive accelerated innovation around customer experience to meet their business objectives in line with their company's IT strategy.
Cloud computing is rapidly rising as essential to C-suite executives. While technology decisions have been made historically by CIOs and IT department heads, the C-suite is adopting cloud computing because execs see its ability to transform their front office processes -- marketing, procurement, supplier management, human resources and legal. In fact, IBM notes, industry analysts estimate that by 2017, CMOs will spend more on IT than CIOs.
"The cloud opportunity is helping C-suite leaders reshape customer experience," said Paul Papas, global leader for Smarter Commerce at IBM Global Business Services. "As part of IBM's digital front-office strategy, we see these 100 cloud applications as a way for business leaders to improve customer experience, reach new customers, generate new revenue streams and become more competitive in their industry."
Something for Everyone
With the new cloud suites, IBM said chief marketing officers can analyze, understand, and engage customers in highly relevant, interactive dialogs across digital, social and traditional marketing channels with digital analytics and marketing automation capabilities from offerings such as IBM Marketing Center.
Meanwhile, sales and e-commerce leaders can drive omni-channel B2C sales linking mobile, social, Web, and on-site locations. For example, B2B sales executives and departments use IBM's sales cloud to manage quotes, negotiate contracts, and strengthen sales performance analytics. Customer care and support executives are promised the ability to develop unique service and retention techniques with faster, personalized customer conversations afforded by IBM Watson Engagement Advisor.
The list goes on and on. There's something for chief procurement officers, chief supply chain officers, general counsel and other legal professionals, CFOs, chief human resource officers, CIOs and social media gurus.
A Unique View
IBM Social Media Analytics promise marketers deeper insights to understand consumer sentiments in social media such as Facebook, Twitter, blogs and forums, and then to refine products, service levels, and targeted offers accordingly. The idea is to give companies a view of consumer perception that is uniquely their own, not industrywide or owned by a third-party.
For example, Social Media Analytics can help a retail merchandising manager gain a deeper understanding of how a new dress is being perceived by consumers. Social Media Analytics work to identify, capture and report on millions of pieces of social data to provide instant feedback on that particular item. IBM said managers can now use this feedback by analyzing keywords associated with the dress to better understand buying trends -- if the red print dress is being described by some as too bold, brands can now make recommendations to the designer to adjust to customer preferences.
"Business leaders are measured on results," said Craig Hayman, general manager at IBM Industry Solutions. "Tapping into the cloud for quick access to innovative solutions makes running a department much easier and allows busy executives more time to focus on serving their customers and driving results."