Adam Gartenberg's Blog

Business Analytics and Optimization, IBM and Social Marketing

Hmm. New teeth.... that’s weird.



As many of you recall, Adam Gartenberg, the long serving Sametime Offering Manager, UC guru and all around great guy, recently took on a new role in IBM. I've been tapped to take over for him on the Sametime team. So... hello.... and let me introduce myself.

I've been with IBM for the past five years, largely with the Sensor & Actuator Solutions organization. Our mission was to integrate devices that could sense conditions and/or take actions in the real world with the enterprise systems that run a business. For example, consider an oil pipeline. A flowmeter (the sensor) monitoring the amount of oil passing a given point on the pipeline may register a sudden drop in flow - indicating a potential leak. On a standard pipeline, that leak may cause motorized valves (the actuators) to close, minimizing environmental damage. With our infrastructure, the leak would cause the business systems to determine the impact on customers, quality of service agreements, contractual obligations, profitability or any range of other variables. The entire pipeline network could then be dynamically reconfigured (by opening or closing the valves) to optimize against the business priorities while minimizing environmental damage. It adds a whole new dimension to the term "on-demand business."

As a Global Solution Executive, I worked with IBM's software, services and sales teams to apply our sensor infrastructure to solve specific industry problems.

For example, I bet you didn't know that as much as 1% of the prescription drugs distributed in the United States every year are counterfeit. Or that the World Health Organization has estimated that 8-10% of the global drug supply is fake. (Scary, isn't it?) My last team used Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) and 2D Barcodes to track the movement of drugs (at the unit level) as they moved through the supply chain. By using IBM products based on some key industry standards, we were able to pass this tracking information from manufacturer to wholesaler to pharmacist, making it much more difficult for counterfeits to get to you or me. This same Track & Trace solution also laid the groundwork for improving a notoriously inefficient supply chain.

So, what does all this have to do with Unified Communications & Collaboration? Think about what I just described as "sensor-enabled business processes". Unified Communications is a similar horizontal technology that has virtually unlimited applications. The challenge is to define which processes will benefit from being communications-enabled... and delivering them on a Sametime infrastructure.  

Hopefully that helps with those of you who have Googled me and tried to make the connection between drug tracking and Sametime. :-)

On a more personal note, I live in the Research Triangle Park area of North Carolina. I hold a BA in International Relations from the University of Pennsylvania and an MBA in Marketing, Strategy and Entrepreneurship from Carnegie Mellon.  (Someday I'll explain how an entrepreneur with an interest in foreign policy ends up working for IBM.) And if you're curious about the subject of this post... it should lead you right to one of my favorite TV shows.

Looking forward to working with all of you!

John