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Forget Jeopardy - IBM's Watson Has an Enterprise Play, $1 Billion and a Place in NYC

IBM Watson - Big DataKen Jennings, fear not — IBM’s Watson no longer has eyes for you.

Later today, Big Blue will announce the launch of its Watson Group, a big data analytics unit that will provide products and services geared toward the enterprise, researchers, academics and who knows who else. 

Watson Taps NYC’s Hotbed of Tech Talent

We say "who else" because when the newly fueled billion dollar Watson Group moves into its new digs in New York’s Silicon Alley it will bring with it $100 million in venture funding to encourage start-ups to dream-up, develop and deliver new cognitive apps through the Watson developer Cloud.

And with New York City being the mecca it has become for business application builders, the Watson Group will be in the right place at the right time. Its biggest challenge may be to lure data scientists away from the advertising, financial services and media companies who hired them long before the data scientist label was even coined.

Cooler Than Siri, Google and Pinterest Combined

But since these geeks like to work with new technologies and on cool projects, IBM may be just their ticket.

To wet everyone’s pallets, Big Blue will be announcing two new products which may be actually cooler than Siri, Google and Pinterest combined.

Forget Search, Watson Discovers

The first offering, the IBM Watson Discovery Advisor is set to disrupt the way that industries, such as pharmaceutical, publishing and education, conduct research today and bring them into the intelligent age of big data.

If it delivers as promised, users will no longer need to wade through thousands of search results. Instead the Watson Discovery Advisor will delve into the influx of data driven content today’s researchers face, and uncover connections that can speed up and strengthen their work.

Watson Comprehends, Computes, Encourages Collaboration and Confident Action

The second offering, IBM Watson Analytics Advisor, will allow business users to send natural language questions and raw data sets into the cloud; Watson will crunch them, then deliver and visualize insights in plain language and through graphic representations that are easy to understand, interact with, and share with colleagues, all in a matter of minutes.

This promises to be a cloud delivered service and is part of IBM Watson Foundations line, which helps organizations maximize the core big data and analytics capabilities that fuel Watson and enables clients to gain fresh insights in real-time, and act upon those insights with confidence.

Is Watson the Future of IBM?

When EMC CEO Joe Tucci addressed a crowd of 15,000 attendees at EMC World last year, he made a somewhat startling prediction: a number of today’s computing giants won’t survive the current period of disruption.

Using the transition from the mainframe to the client server era as the basis for his argument, he noted that, “As we moved from platform one (mainframe) to platform two (client-server) there [were] 21 companies with over a billion dollar market cap and the only one that made it successfully to platform two was IBM.”

Will Watson be the key IBM needs to unlock the door into computing’s third era?

Stay tuned … we’ll reveal our thoughts after we see Watson 2.0 in action and meet its architects. Look for my updates over the next 48 hours.

 
 
 
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