Connect 2017 – Opening General Session (Part 1)

Best-effort live notes from the session.  Synthesis/take-aways to follow.

Connect 2017 Opening General Session – Part I

Cognitive interactive musical opening (featuring lifetime IBM Collaboration Champions – Theo Heselmans, Gab Davis, Julien Robichaux)

We’re here in the heart of San Francisco, heart of tech world.  Always about the people in this very room.  Coming together, with our passions, creating a better way to work.

Honored to be part of a movement started 30 years ago.

At core, how does technology empower people.

These technologies enlighten us as well as enhance our lives at work.  Help focus on people we want to work with and work we want to get done.

Thank you to BPs, customers, developers, millions of users on our applications today.  Story of how tech extends human capabilities.

Hope we can start a new tradition – how we can work together with tech to build something greater than could do individually.  Be part of something bigger than ourselves.  At work, at home, in community.  Last 2 decades focused on personal productivity – work almost anywhere anytime.  Next 2 decades about working together collaboratively in teams.  Teaming inside and outside organization.  Teaming with cognitive services built into applications that we use.

“Work requiring collaboration has increased over 50% over the past decade.”  Harvard Business Review.

Proliferation of tools – work left to user or IT team to stitch together tools.  Cognitive overload, alerts that notify when you don’t need it, or alerts that you do need that you didn’t get.

Average employee interrupted every 11 min, and need 25 min. to get back on task.

Don’t get engaged at level want at work.

Tools remind me of kudzu – growing out of control.  

The average org. now uses:
1,427 cloud services (including dozens of distinct collab and content services)
In average work week, people lose 2 days searching for people/information:  People search:  8.14 hours.  Information search:  7.3

Go from culture of typing and texting to one of conversations and talking
Curating collective insights from teams
Apply machine learning to more complex tasks
Get out of inbox and calendar notifications and into flow of where work actually gets done.  Create new microservices that allows us to create own individual workflows.

Believe these workplaces can be built today – built in open cloud with integrated cognitive capabilities.

We’re applying Watson to enhance everyday work.

Announce Watson Talent and Watson Work.  Solutions from IBM along with partners in open ecosystem.  Watson Talent transforms talent acquisition, development, transform HR processes.  Watson Work is about applying cognitive capabilities to everyday tools around communication, networks.

Watson Work.
Start with Cloud first.  Need to target right workload to right cloud.  We want to create open cloud platform that allows you to rapidly design, deploy services.  Make apps truly modular and flexible.  Co-create with broader dev ecosystem.

Data – You own rich set of data.  Help curate private ent. Data with public data you may license or publicly available to take advantage of for your business.  Help you apply machine learning to enable those systems to learn and automatically take action.

Allow us to process at rate and scale.  Can learn at capacity we could never do on own.

Security and privacy needs that are important for your organization.  Security built into very fabric of solution – has been since the earliest days of Domino.

Applying cognitive to al aspects of capabilities and tools.  Help focus people – human attention – on most important thing in business – delivering higher value.

Augmenting human potential in every day work.

Augmented reality can change how work (e.g., field technicians).

See it in action – Chris Crummey:  5 ways cognitive has changed the way I work

1.        Automatically prioritizes what’s important to me.
2.        Connect to flow of work
3.        Engage cognitive bots and virtual assistants
4.        Engage physical world and Internet of Things
5.        Provides focus and intent when need it the most

Everything you’re about to see is deployed in IBM, in beta, or in preview

Start day in Orient Me homepage.  Can scan the way can a corporate newspaper.  As smart as the experts, but 5 min. later.  Using cognitive and analytics to surface what’s important to me (vs. date/time).  Helps reduce the noise.  Stacks related information, so very easy to get up to speed quickly.  Can switch to date/time view if wanted to.

Go to action center – when have precious 5 min. before next meeting, where should I spend my time.

Go to IBM Verse.  Do same thing here.  Don’t do email by date/time, do by what’s important to me.  Move people on/off Important To Me bar based on projects.  Have email that want to move off thread and into diff. collab model.  Share to blog or Workspace or Salesforce.  Share to Workspace.  Switch over to Workspace, and there’s email that just landed.

Workspace is set of conversations have with team.  Team is collaborating around responding to RFIs.  Ask cognitive bot for help.  Types in question, gets back response from forum.

Integrated Cisco Spark, Salesrforce, Twitter, Slack all into this one space. Connecting flow of my work in and out of applications with just a few clicks.

Another bot – Watson Career Coach.  From Watson Talent portfolio.  Trained it on success profile based on top 10% performers at IBM.  

CHIP – Cognitive Human Interface Program.  Deployed to 85,000 new hires.  Trained on HR, IT, anything a new hire needs.  Ask it best community for new hires?  Responds back with New2Blue Community.

Move over to Sametime, where have a Chip bot.    Asks it who is expert in Verse in London. Upcoming – book travel and send in expense reports via bot.

Google Home.  Sending update to Watson Workspace (via IFTTT).  

Use Apple Watch – Activate coffee maker, which then updates team via Workspace that coffee will be ready in 5 min.

Cognitive moments – understanding intent – question vs. commitment vs. action.  Watson Work Services – available now for developers to work with.  Provide focus and action when need it the most.

Working with company named Oblong.  Full, immersible experiences.  Deployed across IBM.

Turns presentation into fully immersive customer experiences.  Least favorite experience is meetings – apply immersive experience to meetings.

Live streams, files, move from screen to screen.  Allow remote participants to participate in real time.  Mix physical and virtual together.

Use Watson Workspace and turn on cognitive moments to summarize it.  Capture questions, slide over, and use as agenda.  Grab screenshot of portion of live stream video and drop it into Workspace to capture as part of stream and Connections File library at same time.

Box Relay – everyone has access, can do his part, and then go to next step in process.

Collaborate with customer over Workspace with Docusign integration.  Triggers Docusign bot to have them sign.

Everything saw was powered by 3 things:  Open, Seamless, Cognitive

Inhi – Customer stories:

Jennifer Griffith – Director of Employee Communications, UPS

Over 440,000 employees.  About 70% are not desk employees.

Started collab journey over 2 years ago with IBM Connections to connect geo dispersed workforce, access info anytime, anywhere.  Help with faster decision making.

Took controlled and deliberate approach of deployment.  Started with one community based on peak season.  Asked for ideas for what worked with peak seasons.  Over 1,800 comments.  700 deemed to have business value and 40 deployed by following peak season.  After that – people appreciated being asked about input.

Started community for top 150 leaders.  They subsequently recommended platform to their teams.  

About 6 months ago upgraded to 5.5 and ripped bandaid off – gave everyone full access to create public communities.  (Up to that, had to come through Communications group.)  Since then, grown to over 600 communities.  Mostly organic growth, over 1M visits to Connections.

Unexpected advantages?  Know we were focused on business outcomes and help make better decisions, connect experts.  People expect ability to collaborate, not just send email back and forth.  Expect to see each other’s faces.  Used connections to handle voting for cake contest on UPS birthday.  Regional voting via ideation blog.

Sustainable ambassador community – over 7000 UPSers interested in improving impact on environment.  CIO hosted hackathon via connections at corporate campus.  

What’s next:  Bringing external non-employees into community to collaborate (e.g., retirees, interns, external vendors).  Growing use of mobile.  Notifications feature has been real win for people.  Looking at how integrated Workspace and cognitive.  Signed small deal with Box around collab and file sharing.

Next Client – Adam Hunt.  CIO of Mears Group.

Mears founded in 1988, UK based, specialize in home care and care for people living in homes (provide breakfast, medicine, etc.) 20,000 employees (up from 1000 in 2004).

16,000 of employees hardly ever go into office.  Not traditional IT users.  Put central services out using Connections product.  Use video conferencing in Connections to reduce travel time.  

Wanted to go Cloud first – didn’t want to maintain new systems.  Wanted BYO device (used to need company-owned device to access Connections).  Wanted soft landing for new employees, so spent a lot of time on onboarding, pointing in right direction on platform.

When think about future of collab for Mears group:  What can Watson Workspace do for us – shut down some other systems out in business and bring back to IBM Connections.  How use machine learning to automate environment.  When request for repair comes in, have it look through unstructured data in Connections to make suggestion before someone goes to house.

Sneak preview of what share after lunch:  Rishi Vaish, VP Watson Workspace and Work Services and Ed Brill, VP Offering Management and Design.

Core Principles:
1.         Redefine everyday work with cognitive – common cognitive platform
2.        2.  New apps that embrace what you have –
3.        Open collaboration platforms and APIs
4.        Security and privacy –

Open APIs – see that from us in all offerings.  Give ISVs an opportunity for new channel, and for developers, can make solutions their own and tune to own business processes.

Embracing that in our own strategy – microservices – build through agile and update several times a day.

Common Cognitive Platform – same cognitive capabilities

Reinvigorating existing offerings – major updates for Connections, Cognitive in Verse, Notes/Domino.

Enables choice – you get to pick tools that you want to use in your daily work and maintain flow

Dr. Sheena Iyengar, Professor of Business, Columbia Business School.

Research on our ability to make decisions and choices  

Comparison of Watson and Bram Stoker (final jeopardy question during Watson’s match).

How artificial intelligence allows us to create undying life… but also a little scary because talks about entities out there that might subjugate us for their own use.  Might make us redundant, our lives purposeless.

Watson’s the kind of thing that gives us hope but also makes us a little nervous.

Watson not doing job of human – doesn’t know how to imagine fictional world, how to create that fictional world.  What’s interesting about humans is that we can imagine that future, and it’s because of that imagination that we can manifest and make new choices – that imagining and choosing is what makes us human.

Studying choice – how do better, understand it better.  Explain two kinds of things we do as choosers.

Three important outcomes of choice
1.        The more choices we have, the morel likely we are to delay (choose not to choose)
2.        The more choices we have, the more errors we make and the less consistent we are
3.        The more choices we have, the more dissatisfied we are with our choice, no matter whether small (chocolate) or big (career choice).

Maybe Watson can give us a helping hand (or brain).  Help us become better choosers.

80% of day spent doing email, texting, in meetings.  A lot of activity that doesn’t allow us to just think, get thoughts together, mind wandering time.  We’re actually pretty good at focusing and attention – just not when it keeps coming at us.  Multitasking reduces our IQ by an average of 8 points.  Watson can help remind us where left off, quick summary of what just did.  Favorite vision for what want to do with Watson as professor – take picture of where left off discussion, drop in Dropbox, email to entire class, and ask Watson for other articles on topics discussed in class.  Then by next class, not only reminding where left off, but sent new articles that might not have thought of or remembered.

Think about Watson as Holmesian Watson (as in Sherlock) – helps us not just make us more efficient or make more connections, but also help improve lives, help save lives.  70% of problems that happen in hospitals are because of communication – problems that could have been solved if had Watson as sidekick.

Our humanity might require us to embrace a non-human face.  To work together to imagine a better tomorrow and build it choice by choice. 

Introduce a couple new leaders on the team in addition to Ed and Rishi.  One just joined 6 weeks ago, and the other joined at the beginning of last year.  Shawn Flynn, VP of enterprise sales and Rich Jefts, VP Customer Success, Services and Support.

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