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IBM IMPACT 2013 Day 2 Keynotes #ibmimpact


Day 2 at IBM IMPACT kicked off with another IBM keynote. Dave Farrell got it started telling us that IBM got record attendance this year and that customers will be talking about how “business in motion” has helped them.

First up is Jim King of BMI – a licensing and rights management company in the music industry, clearly an industry that has undergone tremendous transformation in the last couple of years. BMI, Broadcast Music Incorporated, represents music rights holders and has been managing music rights for about 75 years. BMI members are songrwiters, lyricists, performers who have rights to music. 100M transactions covering 7.5M pieces of music. These get registered by their members and then licensed to movies, bars, restaurants and others. BMI has to figure out who is playing what so they can pay the right royalty fees and then distribute these to the members. BMI has to do this as more ways to deliver music using the internet and social media show up every day.

BMI uses both Business Process Manager and Operational Decision Manager. Their principles include using processes and rules to run an optimized business and having a single view of data (including very complex data like geocoding, streaming music).  They have to  be able to cope with all these new channels for music, continue to track what is being used, deliver analytics to the rights owners to help them know what music is hot, and figure out all the complexity of billing and paying royalties.

Robert Leblanc followed BMI on stage to talk about the scale of mobile challenges – billions of mobile phones and SMS messages, vast quantities of email and social media data etc. We have reached the point where a typical smart phone has more compute power than was used for the Apollo mission. At the core of any solution, he says, is SOA. Service orientation with its loose coupling, well defined interfaces etc is central to good design, design that will work especially as you have to connect your business to the rest of the world outside the firewall. And this is reflected in surveys showing that SOA and web services are considered critical for cloud success and as a platform for mobile applications. Exposing your back end systems of records as a set of services is going to be critical as companies develop new systems of engagement as IBM calls them. Add in the cloud for access to other services and the stage is set for the next generation of systems. Web services/APIs are key and companies must design their platforms so they can be sustained over time in the face of new innovations and requirements.

Rob used some great examples to illustrate the power of SOA as a platform for mobile (USTA), for extending systems to work with partners (HIPRA) and scale to high volume, real-time systems that are also agile and flexible (Visa using ODM business rules to configure the local rules within its payment services platform while handling 8M transactions/second). Rob went on to announce some awards for customer excellence and the best of show partner award.

A nice WestJet video came next talking about how they use technology to deliver customer service – a stress free travel experience from the moment you decide to go to the moment you are back. This means sending out notifications in advance, prepping customers for the trip and keeping them informed on changes and any problems. These might be delivered using email or SMS and there’s lots of customer preferences involved, all managed using the ODM rules engine.

Marie Weick came back on to emphasize the importance of process, showing huge gaps in processing times between leaders and laggards. Businesses that cannot deliver process outcomes as quickly and accurately as their competitors face real challenges. Success in this kind of operational process she says requires great business/IT collaboration. It requires extending business operations to include mobile, new end points, new data. For example:

  • Push care management processes and decisions to the bedside in hospitals with mobile devices
  • Banks aiming for 5 minute banking account onbaording and opening to a mobile device

To support this Marie re-iterated the Smarter Process capabilities map:

  • Industry support and frameworks supported by
  • Process Management, Decision Management and Case Management all offering mobile, social, cloud and big data capabilities all on top of
  • An integrated, service-oriented platform.

New announcements include some of the things I discussed yesterday. Key things include decision modeling in Blueworks Live, support for mobile in processes and decisions.

To illustrate she walked through a claims process in insurance. First she showed how turning it from claim-centric to customer-centric not only streamlines the process but also enables the process to take account of location. So an app could be used, for instance, to file a claim. This could use location and systems of record data to drive decisions about paying the claim, providing towing or transportation etc. A decision- and process-centric back end allows a powerful mobile app to be developed.

HCF from Australia came up next talking about their use of smarter processes to transform their business. HCF is a health insurer based in Australia. Process 3M medical services and 8M other services every year. They wanted straight through processing for their claims and had to deal with privacy and security as well as processing the claims and making good decisions about paying claims. Took an integrated business/IT team, business rules for handling decisions and analytics to assess risk and improve the process. The end result is immediate electronic payment in many cases – 73% in hospital claims, 91% on medical claims. Great illustration of the power of business-rules and analytic-based decision-making to generate great straight through processing numbers.

Adam Klaber followed HCF on stage and introduced The Global Fund and its work on eliminating AIDS, TB and Malaria. The Global Fund used IBM’s technology to reduce a 21 day disbursement process down to 5 days, getting critical funds distributed sooner for greater impact.

Adam went on to talk about the many projects IBM has worked on. He pointed out how the combination of mobile, social and new data is changing businesses and professions. Marketing has become real-time and personalized, the music industry has been completely changed, customers increasingly expect real-time answers about claims and other complex decisions.  He divides this change into two categories:

  • A Digital Front Office
    Delivering the most appropriate message, at the right time through the right channel and increasingly at the right location.
  • A Globally Integrated Enterprise
    A global and completely integrated supply chain

IBM has developed a center of competency to help companies adopt solutions for both aspects.

He wrapped up with the 5 key priorities (my comments in parentheses):

  • Mobile First (mobile applications require smarter, more decision-centric back ends)
  • Reinvent business design and process (use a focus on managing decisions to simplify and streamline business processes)
  • Flexible and secure integration
  • Becoming insight and data-driven (use analytics but not for reporting, deeply embed them in your operational systems)
  • Build on an open architecture

That’s it for the keynotes. I will be presenting three times today:

  • Noon at the social playground in the solution center where I will give a 5 minute Ignite presentation on why model decisions
  • 1pm in the Champion’s Corner in the Client Reference Lounge for a conversation about decision management
  • 4pm in Lido 3101B where I will present on Decision Management Cases: Agility & Adaptability in Insurance, Travel & Healthcare

Come by and say hi or come to the bookstore at 5pm and buy a signed copy of Decision Management Systems.


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