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Business Analytics and Optimization, IBM and Social Marketing

IBM Announces "InfoSphere Streams" Stream Computing Software



From Time: "Steve Mills, SVP of IBM Software (left), and Dr. John Kelly, SVP of IBM Research, view Stream Computing technology."

At its annual investor briefing yesterday, IBM announced the availability of a unique "stream computing" software solution that will allow organizations to analyze massive amounts of data in real time.  The IBM InfoSphere Streams software is based on the System S IBM Research initiative that involved over 5 years of development and has garnered 200 patents along the way.

The press release describes what InfoSphere Streams (referred to here still as System S) can do in more detail:

System S is built for perpetual analytics - utilizing a new streaming architecture and breakthrough mathematical algorithms, to create a forward-looking analysis of data from any source - narrowing down precisely what people are looking for and continuously refining the answer as additional data is made available.  

For example, System S can analyze hundreds or thousands of simultaneous data streams - stock prices, retail sales, weather reports, etc. - and deliver nearly instantaneous analysis to business leaders who need to make split-second decisions. The software can help all organizations that need to react to changing conditions in real time, such as government and law enforcement agencies, financial institutions, retailers, transportation companies, healthcare organizations, and more.

In an article titled "The Reasons Behind Google and IBM Being Ahead of the Competition," TIME magazine covers why this is such a major announcement:
IBM released "stream computing" applications that allow businesses to look at and analyze huge amounts of data in real time. Describing the product, IBM said "System S is built for perpetual analytics — utilizing a new streaming architecture and breakthrough mathematical algorithms, to create a forward-looking analysis of data from any source — narrowing down precisely what people are looking for and continuously refining the answer as additional data is made available." The ability to have access to that kind of information will undoubtedly be valuable to governments, the financial industry, and large multinationals with thousands of retail outlets. The new software is unique and does not appear to have any direct competition.


While it hadn't officially been announced until yesterday, this stream computing technology has been the underpinning of several of the Smarter Planet references that we have discussed over the past year or two.  It has already demonstrated great success across a spectrum of industries that include financial services, law enforcement, healthcare, manufacturing, environment monitoring, traffic control and others.  Some of the applications already published in the press include the real-time monitoring of premature infants, marine monitoring in Galway Bay, and automated options trading.  (And yesterday's press release has additional examples.)

IBM also announced yesterday the opening of the IBM European Stream Computing Center, headquartered in Dublin, Ireland, that will serve as a hub of research, customer support and advanced testing for what is expected to be a growing base of European clients who wish to apply stream computing to their most challenging business problems.

Congratulations to all of the researchers, developers, marketers and everyone else involved in yesterday's announcement!

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