IBM Opens Lab To Bring R&D To The CEO

Thu Mar 14, 2013 8:30am EDT

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IBM Customer Experience Lab Blends Research Innovation with Business Consulting
to Address Priorities of C-Suite Leaders in the Era of Big Data
ARMONK, N.Y.,  March 14, 2013  /PRNewswire/ -- IBM (NYSE:  IBM) today announced
the creation of the  IBM Customer Experience Lab, dedicated to helping business
leaders transform the way customers experience their products, services and
brands through the use of mobile, social, cloud and advanced  analytics 
technologies.

(Logo:  http://photos.prnewswire.com/prnh/20090416/IBMLOGO)

IBM Research  scientists and  business consultants  will co-create with clients
to deliver systems that learn and personalize the experiences of each individual
customer, identify patterns, preferences and create context from Big Data, and
drive scale economics.

The IBM Customer Experience Lab will provide CEOs, CMOs, CFOs, heads of sales
and other C-suite executives direct access to a virtual team of 100 Researchers,
supported by the deep industry and domain expertise of thousands of IBM business
consultants addressing the opportunities of the digital front office.

In a recent briefing for  financial analysts,  Bridget van Kralingen, senior
vice president, IBM Global Business Services, called "front office
transformation" - of sales, marketing or customer service functions -- the most
important wave of business change since the advent of Enterprise Resource
Planning in the 1990s.

"Business leaders realize they need to continuously transform their customer
experience in order to be relevant and competitive - from the perception of
innovation and value, to the quality of the interaction, to the economics of
delivery," said  Mahmoud Naghshineh, vice president, Services Research at IBM.
"What made them successful over the last decade, or even last year, may not be
competitive in the future.  We will help clients explore the possibilities
presented by new assets, technologies and innovation models based on our
engagement experiences with thousands of organizations across every industry."

IBM researchers have participated in more than 1,000 IT business process and
consulting client services engagements; 9,000 business analytics consultants
have completed more than 30,000 client engagements over the last several years
alone.

In the new age of Big Data and analytics, organizations are reassessing how to
move from addressing mass audiences to personalized relationships.  The same
technologies allow enterprises to engage in new ways with their employees, allow
government agencies to build new relationships with citizens, or enable new
models of interaction among students and educational institutions.

IBM Research is developing technology assets and capabilities that can help
deliver front office capabilities as a service from a cloud, design novel
products to match customer preferences, and leverage math and psychological
theories of personality to improve marketing effectiveness.

Client Engagements
The Lab focuses on innovation breakthroughs in three primary areas:

* Customer insight.  Applying advanced capabilities such as machine learning and
visual analytics to predict differences in individual customer behavior across
multiple channels.  
* Customer engagement.  Using deep customer engagement to drive insight and
continuously deliver value by personalizing engagement, versus transactional
experiences.  
* Employee engagement.  Embedding semantic, collaborative, and multimedia
technologies to foster employee engagement and insight - in person and online.

Among the clients engaged with IBM on advancing their innovation process are 
Nationwide Building Society, the world's largest building society serving 15
million members in the  United Kingdom, and  Banorte, one of the largest banks
in  Mexico  with more than 20 million customers.

"Mobile and social technologies, and the ability to access information anytime,
anywhere, is driving significant change in the way consumers bank and in the
services they expect," said  Martin Boyle, Divisional Director of
Transformation, Nationwide Building Society. "Our ability to innovate and
anticipate, and not just respond, is what sets us apart from the competition and
helps us to provide our customers with new and better ways to do business with
us. By partnering with IBM, we can tap into its vast research and innovation
expertise and facilities, which has already proved invaluable in our
transformation program and will continue to be an important part in how we
continue to innovate our service for customers."

New Tools and Capabilities
The Lab provides IBM clients with an innovation process, assets and platform to
give line of business leaders the exclusive ability to work side-by-side with
IBM researchers and business consultants to analyze business challenges and
jointly create solutions that integrate next-generation mobile, social,
analytics and cloud technologies.  

Co-creation with clients includes an innovation model called Innovation
Discovery Workshops, which generate ideas, roadmaps, prototypes and solutions
that draw on research assets, business consulting and IBM Software solutions in
areas such as Smarter Commerce, Big Data, analytics, and  Mobile First 
products.

The IBM Customer Experience Lab will be headquartered at the Thomas J. Watson
Research Center in  Yorktown Heights, N.Y., supported by researchers at IBM's 12
global labs including  Africa,  Brazil,  California,  China,  India,  Israel, 
Japan,  Switzerland, and Texas.  The Lab brings together skills across
disciplines including service science, industries research, mathematics and
business optimization, social, mobile, Smarter Commerce, data mining, cloud
computing, security and privacy, cognitive computing and systems management.

IBM invests more than  $6 billion  annually on research and development and
employs about 3,000 researchers worldwide.   IBM Global Business Services 
deploys business consulting, applications and delivery expertise globally,
including market-leading business analytics,  Smarter Commerce, mobility and
applications management practices.

For more information about the IBM Customer Experience Lab, visit: 
http://www.research.ibm.com/articles/customer-experience-lab.shtml

Follow IBM's innovation breakthroughs on Twitter at @IBMResearch.

Contacts:  
Leslie Monreal-Feil
IBM Media Relations
lmonreal@us.ibm.com   
561.862.3074   

Randy Zane
IBM Media Relations
rzane@us.ibm.com
914.945.1655

SOURCE  IBM

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