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The Greater IBM Connection is a worldwide business and social network for current and former employees of IBM.

IBM Developer Happening in Vegas Next Week: Raspberry Pi, Oculus Rift, & Elvis Costello

Image Credit:  IBM

Image Credit: IBM

Next week IBM will be hosting an inaugural (and free) event for developers at the Hakkasan Lounge at the MGM Grand on February 24-25, 2014. It will be held in conjunction with IBM Pulse-The Premier Cloud Conference.

At dev@Pulse, developers will have the opportunity to hear from and interact with leading thinkers on mobile, game design, AI, front-end development, analytics, and cloud computing.

Featured speakers include Kickstarter co-founder Charles Adler, Reshma Saujani of Girls Who Code, Jonathan Bryce with OpenStack, and a host of other experts.

But dev@Pulse is an invitation to do more than just take in the sights and the speakers. Attendees will be encouraged to join in talks, design camps, and code jams — where they’ll have access to tools and APIs that are being used to create the next wave of great applications.

Fallout Boy

Fallout Boy

There will also be a virtual “playground” featuring some of the latest bleeding-edge technologies, including the virtual reality headset for 3D Gaming, Oculus Rift; a Raspberry Pi station; IBM’s Watson; and even a Parrot Drone, just for good measure.  dev@pulse attendees will also be welcomed to a free concert headlined by Fall Out Boy and Elvis Costello the evening of February 25th.

Registration is open at http://ibm.co/N6hN69, so feel free to share with your clients, co-workers, or other interested parties.

Learn more & register for free

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CMx7tw8n9Hg&feature=share

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Related:

–Posted by Julie Yamamoto, Program Manager, The Greater IBM Connection for Todd Watson, IBM

What’s The Buzz for January 2014

Here’s a quick snapshot of what YOU have been talking about for the month of January 2014. Top five discussions/posts on our blog,Twitter, and Facebook.

BLOG POSTS NUMBER OF VIEWS/ COMMENTS/ LIKES/ SHARES
IBM Infographic Cartoon: So Your Parent is an IBMer (Survival Guide for Kids) 1260
(Replay) IBM Launches New Watson Group in Silicon Alley 293
IBM Connect 2014 – Energizing Life’s Work 266
What Does IBM Watson Look Like?  Generated Art Face the Wave of the Future? 174
How Many Times Should You Try Before Success? (Infographic) – No 1 Top Tweet 161
TWEETS NUMBER OF RETWEETS
Jan 11 – 3 Things You Never Knew About #IBM #Creativity – #Games , #Art , and #Music 14
Jan 14 – #IBM led the world in #patent issuances for the 21st year in a row #infographic 12
(Tie) Jan 4 – #Coffee #Personality – What Does Your Favorite Coffee Say About You? #Infographic, Jan 4 – The no. 1 use of the #internet is #social & 94% go to #learn, Jan 19 – #Teamwork is the mother of invention 10 each
Jan 23 – No. 2 most popular Facebook post: #IBM conference call #cartoon 9
(Tie) Jan 3 – Never do things others can do and will do, if there are things others cannot do or will not do – Amelia Earhart quote, Jan 12 – RT/ @TheRealFredrikG: How to #work fast #infographic via @EntMagazine 8 each
Greater IBM on FacebookFACEBOOK POSTS NUMBER OF COMMENTS/ LIKES/ SHARES
Jan 7 – No. 4 on the @Greater_IBM 2013 countdown – Why IS #IBM Called Big Blue? The Uncertain History of a Colorful Nickname 72
Jan 9 – No. 2 on the @Greater_IBM countdown for 2013: #Infographic – How to Identify an #IBMer 72
Jan 23 – Greater IBMers, do you have a conference call today? The number 2 most popular Facebook post from 2013: #IBM conference call #cartoon 72
Jan 15 – IBM CEO Ginni Rometty keynote speech at NRF (photo) 47
Jan 10 – #‎IBM‬ ‪#‎Infographic‬ ‪#‎Cartoon‬ for ‪#‎FridayFun‬ – So Your Parent is an IBMer (Survival Guide for Kids) 43

- By Julie Yamamoto, Program Manager, The Greater IBM Connection

Greater IBM Connections e-Newsletter: January

dec newsletter header Welcome to the Greater IBM Connections e-newsletter! We know that Greater IBMers, whether you worked for IBM in the past (or currently work at IBM) feel a connection to IBM that continues even if you’ve changed jobs or retired. This newsletter will help you keep up with the latest cutting-edge IBM innovations and industry trends, as well as stay in touch with your colleagues and friends. Have a suggestion or story idea? Feel free to send us as a comment to this post (be sure to include your email address, so we can reach you).

In this issue:

  • Featured Highlights
  • What’s The Buzz for the Month
  • IBM Alumni Stories + Tell Us Your Story
  • Join the Conversation

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Featured Highlights

tweetchat_logoFeb 6 Tweet Chat:  Don’t miss our upcoming Tweet Chat on Feb 6 from 11am-12pm ET with Dr. Dario de Judicibus, Fashion Industry Leader for IBM Europe, and Scott Duby, IBM Global Retail Solutions Lead.  Bookmark this link and save the date!

IBM News Roundup:  There were several major announcements in January about Watson, Cloud, Big Data and more.  Two major IBM studies as well as 2013 4Q and full year earnings were released.  Also, IBM Connect was held in late January, and February is bringing IBM’s first Entrepreneur Week (Feb 3-7) and dev@Pulse (Feb 24-25).  Here’s a roundup of the major IBM news, events, and study releases for Jan-Feb, in case you missed them – http://wp.me/p2kcos-4BS

IBM Alumni – Are You on Twitter?: We have started a Twitter list for IBM Alumni here (http://bit.ly/1kCTwhT). If you are an IBM Alumni and would like to be added to this list, please reply to this post with your Twitter ID–> http://linkd.in/1fneP6K ——————————————————-

top5v2What’s the Buzz for the Month

What have you been reading and talking about recently? Here’s your chance to catch up on the five most popular posts published in January on The Greater IBM Connection blog. Thanks for visiting and for your comments on the blog.

You can also check out the Top Five Posts across our other social channels here –> http://wp.me/p2kcos-4Ev

  1. IBM Infographic Cartoon: So Your Parent is an IBMer (Survival Guide for Kids)
  2. (Replay) IBM Launches New Watson Group in Silicon Alley
  3. IBM Connect 2014 – Energizing Life’s Work
  4. What Does IBM Watson Look Like?  Generated Art Face the Wave of the Future?
  5. How Many Times Should You Try Before Success? (Infographic) – No 1 Top Tweet

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IBM Alumni Stories + Tell Us Your Story

Gretchen Gottlich, Enterprise Information Executive

Gretchen Gottlich, Enterprise Information Executive

Our alumni story for January is about Big Data Expert, Gretchen Gottlich, also a former NASA Researcher who had the opportunity to meet Benoit Mandelbrot (the Father of Fractal Geometry) in person.  Check out her story and others at the links below!

We will be featuring IBM Alumni stories in the coming months, so please share your story with us in the LinkedIn discussion thread below, and we’ll be following up with the ones that seem the most interesting to our community for a further interview:

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Stay connected with The Greater IBM Connection by:

- By Julie Yamamoto, Program Manager, The Greater IBM Connection

IBM News Roundup (Jan-Feb) – Watson Group, Cloud Expansion, IBM Studies, 4Q Earnings, and more

IBM_logo.svg

IBM News Roundup (Jan-Feb)

Here’s a roundup of some of the major IBM news, events, and study releases from the past few weeks, in case you missed them.

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Related:

–Posted by Julie Yamamoto, Program Manager, The Greater IBM Connection

IBM Italy Fashion Industry Leader Dr. Dario de Judicibus: Create Your Own Opportunity

Dr. Dario

Dr. Dario de Judicibus, European Fashion Industry Leader, IBM Smarter Commerce

“I try to do something different every day. I do not wait for the opportunity – I try to create it.”

Dr. Dario de Judicibus is the European Fashion Industry Leader for IBM Smarter Commerce Italy, specializing in Business Strategy, Knowledge Management, and Social Networking.  He has written more than 250 articles in several magazines and newspapers, published 6 books, and speaks regularly at national and international conferences.  He is also a prolific IBM inventor with 7 patents to his name.  Prior to IBM, he worked at CERN (Geneva, Switzerland), Stanford, and DESY (German Electron Synchrotron), and he has a Laurea in Physics, High Energy Particles, from Florence University in Italy.

Be sure to join in the live Tweet chat we’ll be hosting with Dr. de Judicibus and Scott Duby on Thursday, February 6.

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The Greater IBM Connection:  When did you join IBM, and what led you to join the company?

I joined IBM in 1986.  I had just graduated and completed mandatory military service as an officer.  At the time, there weren’t a lot of good opportunities in Italy in research, so I was looking for a company that also did research.  IBM had a very strong research lab in Rome that I was interested in joining.  Because of my extensive background and research experience (CERN in Switzerland, SLAC at Stanford, and DESY in Hamburg), I was immediately hired, but that research lab closed after a few years, so I moved to a different job.  In my 27 years with IBM, I have had many different jobs, both technical and non-technical, but the real reason I love this company is the opportunity to interpret and create my job description as I wish.  In fact, I am what today is called a ‘Wild Duck‘. It is not always easy to operate independently in a company that has very strict processes at times, but I must say that I am never bored.

What were some of your more interesting roles and what did they entail?

I’ve had a lot of different worldwide roles in IBM, but some of the most interesting and exciting for me were when I was practically inventing a new global practice from scratch.  For example, in 1993, when every software developer in IBM was continuously reinventing the wheel for every project, I founded the Reuse Shop, which was the first IBM group to create software libraries of building blocks that could be used to develop products.  I later took on managing the first Intellectual Property initiative (ICM) for Italy, Spain, Portugal, Greece, Turkey, and Israel.  Then, in 2010, I became Fashion Industry Leader, first for Italy and later on for Europe, creating the first IBM Retail Practice and market segment focused on the Fashion and Luxury Products Industry.  Being a pioneer is not easy, especially when you really have no frame of reference to operate from, but it’s also extremely exciting to land in a totally new world and explore. There’s not many companies in the world that give their employees such an opportunity.

What was the workplace like when you joined and how has it changed over time?

One of IBM’s strengths since the 80’s has been the collaborative environment and sharing of expertise.  We didn’t have the same kind of sophisticated social sharing tools that we have today of course, but IBM has always had a global network of expertise, internal forums, and a set of tools to share documents and experiences.  So, even if the means were primitive as compared with today, somebody in some region of the world was always available and willing to help solve a problem.  It was a really big family.  Now the tools are more sophisticated and make it a lot easier to leverage extended networks of expertise, but the core IBMer attitude of willingness to help/volunteer and share your expertise hasn’t really changed.  This is the greatest asset we have in our company – our people.

What does a typical day look like for you now?

You might be surprised, but I do not remember a single day of work looking like another… Every day is a new challenge and a surprise.

Image Credit:  Venture Beat (The Internet of Things is coming, and IBM wants to be at the center of it)

Image Credit: Venture Beat (The Internet of Things is coming, and IBM wants to be at the center of it)

Is there any project or initiative you’d like to tell us more about?

Well, probably the Fashion Alliance, where I developed a new marketing channel approach.  Rather than thinking of our business partners simply as an additional channel to sell IBM solutions or their solutions based on IBM products, I created an ecosystem of several companies, each one strong in a specific area, working together like a football team.  In practice, I was able to solve customer problems by assembling this team of third party competencies, coordinated by IBM, who were stimulated to work with each other.  One of the solutions we developed was a family of products based on biometrics, not for security purposes, but for marketing.  One example was the Smarter mannequin, which was also one of the first elements of a vision I developed in 2010 called Total Reality.  To understand the concept, imagine taking the web and removing all the interfaces you currently use to access it – computers, tablets, and even smartphones.  Now substitute those devices with everyday objects such as rooms, tables, cars, or appliances like a refrigerator or an oven.  Suppose that your interactions with the object will be reflected as data changes in the web and the changes in the network data will also influence the objects themselves and how they interact with you.  A network of objects, communicating with human beings and even with each other – that is Total Reality.  Of course, objects not only have to be smart but also aware of what’s around them – that is, they must have some primitive sense or basic intelligence.

(Related:  IBM Smarter Planet ‘Internet of Things’ and IBM ‘Internet of Things’ solutions)

What do you like most about your career with IBM?

Autonomy in my work. In most cases I am the manager of myself.

What characteristics, skills, or attitudes have set you apart and helped you be successful?

Curiosity, lateral thinking – that is, thinking outside the box, willingness to take risks, and focus on the customer point of view.

What were some of the most important lessons you learned?

Whatever we do must have an objective and a measurable result, but, once you have planned the action necessary to achieve that goal, forget it, and try to do your work to the best of your ability.  When you are running a race, you don’t need to think about how far away the finish line is – only have confidence in yourself and in the skills of people working with you.

What would you do differently if given the opportunity?

I try to do something different every day. I do not wait for the opportunity: I try to create it.

big data growingWhat do you see are the major upcoming trends in your field?

Mobile is changing the way we relate with the web and therefore all the resources that are available through the web – people, information, tools.  We are always connected and we continuously exchange millions of pieces of data even when we are not aware of it.  We are just at the beginning of this new era, but if we can figure out how to analyze all the weak signals hidden in this world of Big Data, we will have the ability to harness incredible power. So, the real challenge is the ethical aspect, not the technological one. I think that, in the future, we will have to ask ourselves how to develop ethical rules that will balance the need to handle this power of Big Data responsibly while still maintaining the independence and autonomy of the web, which is its major value and its founding mechanism of evolution.

Tarpaulin Photograph by Dario de Judicibus

Tarpaulin Photograph by Dario de Judicibus

What do you like to do in your spare time?

Really a lot of things – I like to try new things often.  I have practiced the martial arts since I was a child (judo, karate, aikido, kung-fu, krav maga, and archery). I also enjoy windsurfing and tennis and am currently practicing fencing and body building. Some other hobbies include the guitar, photography, and writing (I’m a published writer of essays and novels).

What advice would you give to Greater IBMers to help them be successful in their career?

Real innovation is in your ideas. Technology may help and may sometimes create opportunities that were impractical in the past, but real innovation is always born from brains. However, to have a good idea is not enough. To make it a real thing requires a lot of work and very practical attitudes. My model is to be a pioneer. A pioneer must be a visionary because, if you are not a visionary, you will never leave the safety of your own home to discover what lies beyond the mountains.  However, a pioneer must also be a very practical individual because, if you don’t have a good head on your shoulders, you won’t survive more than one day when you are beyond the mountains.

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Related:

–By Julie Yamamoto, Program Manager, The Greater IBM Connection

IBM Study – Champions of SaaS (Software as a Service): Infographic + Video

Image Credit:  IBM Center for Applied Insights

Image Credit: IBM Center for Applied Insights

IBM Study: Champions of SaaS (Software as a Service)

Pacesetters are looking to Software as a Service for competitive advantage

On January 28, 2014, IBM announced the results of a new study entitled Champions of Software as a Service:  How SaaS is fueling powerful competitive advantage which found that nearly half of the businesses using Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) are achieving competitive advantage, rather than simply reducing costs.  The use of Software as a Service (SaaS) has skyrocketed over the last few years and shows no signs of slowing down.  What’s driving that demand?  While many of the more than 800 IT and business decision makers that IBM surveyed worldwide as part of this study did cite reducing the total cost of ownership (TCO) of their applications as the top reason for adopting SaaS, almost half are also using SaaS to attain a broad range of powerful benefits that combine to deliver something even more critical: competitive advantage.

Some key data points:

  • 71% of Pacesetters have reduced time to market of products/services by using SaaS
  • 71% of Pacesetters have used SaaS to change their organization’s business model
  • They put social tools at the top of their most-favored SaaS applications
  • They are more than twice as likely to have leveraged analytics across their organization to turn big data into insights using SaaS

Learn more

(The study was by the IBM Center for Applied Insights)

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Related:

–Posted by Julie Yamamoto, Program Manager, The Greater IBM Connection

What Does IBM Watson Look Like? Generated Art Face the Wave of the Future?

Image Credit:  From The Face of Watson video

Image Credit: From The Face of Watson video

Who knew that generative art would be the face of a Jeopardy champ?  For the Jeopardy competition in 2011 between IBM Watson and Jeopardy champions Ken Jennings and Brad Rutter, IBM hired veteran digital artist Joshua Davis to create Watson’s face, a swirling electronic avatar based on IBM’s Smarter Planet logo.  Davis took the globe motif and added a swarm of particles — a single “leader” chased by the others — to spin around on the globe’s surface, indicating that Watson is “thinking.”  He also visually represents Watson’s level of confidence in an answer, based on complicated algorithms that boil down to 27 possible states that the avatar can be in.  Generally, when Watson is confident, the particles swarm to the top of the globe and glow green;  and when Watson is not confident, they flow to the bottom and glow orange.

Learn more:

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Related:

–Posted by Julie Yamamoto, Program Manager, The Greater IBM Connection