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IBM Opens Lab to Bring R&D to the CEO

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IBM 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.

 

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.

 

IBM is a leading global hybrid cloud and AI, and business services provider, helping clients in more than 175 countries capitalize on insights from their data, streamline business processes, reduce costs and gain the competitive edge in their industries. Nearly 3,000 government and corporate entities in critical infrastructure areas such as financial services, telecommunications and healthcare rely on IBM's hybrid cloud platform and Red Hat OpenShift to affect their digital transformations quickly, efficiently, and securely. IBM's breakthrough innovations in AI, quantum computing, industry-specific cloud solutions and business services deliver open and flexible options to our clients. All of this is backed by IBM's legendary commitment to trust, transparency, responsibility, inclusivity, and service.

For more information, visit: www.ibm.com.

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