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 CEO Ginni Rometty Wins Global Leadership Award

IBM Chairman and CEO Ginni Rometty (center) is presented with the American Institute for Contemporary German Studies (AICGS) 19th Annual Global Leadership Award (Photo Credit:  Feature Photo Service)

IBM Chairman and CEO Ginni Rometty (center) is presented with the American Institute for Contemporary German Studies (AICGS) 19th Annual Global Leadership Award (Photo Credit: Feature Photo Service)

IBM Chairman and CEO Ginni Rometty (center) is presented with the American Institute for Contemporary German Studies (AICGS) 19th Annual Global Leadership Award by Institute board member Morris Offit (right) and president Jackson Janes (left) at the organization’s annual dinner at Cipriani Wall Street in New York City on November 11, 2013. The award recognizes business leaders who have helped strengthen the close partnership between Germany and the United States.

To learn more:

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

IBM Europe Virtual Career Exploration for Graduates – Nov 15 and Nov 20

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Greater IBMers, is your son or daughter getting ready to graduate?  Or do you know a forward-thinking graduate who might be interested in a career with IBM?

IBM Career Exploration is an exciting virtual careers fair aimed at forward-thinking university students to give them an opportunity to engage in an information exchange with IBM, and learn how they can make a difference for themselves, for IBM and for the world.

The events will be held on November 15 for Germany, Austria, and Switzerland and November 20 for UK and Ireland.  Virtual doors will open at 10am for students to log in, and the event starting with the first webcast at 10.30am. Attendees will have the opportunity to explore career development and continuing education programs at IBM; understand how to build and apply their expertise and further their networks; and learn how to best position themselves in a highly competitive job market.

If you know a forward-thinking graduate who might benefit from this experience, please direct them to the links below to register in advance:

Why Work at IBM?

More:

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

IBM Big Data Solution Enables Wroclaw University Library to Preserve European Heritage, Open Digital Archives to the World

IBM and the Wroclaw University Library in Poland have announced a national scientific project to preserve and digitize nearly 800,000 pages of distinctive European manuscripts, books, and maps dating back to the Middle Ages. The materials have rarely been accessible to the public – until now.

book

IBM’s solution is helping the Wroclaw University Library Poland digitize, manage and provide fast online access to rare manuscripts, books and maps, many dating back to the Middle Ages, with a total capacity of 300 terabytes.
Shown here is one of Europe’s six surviving copies of this particular medieval illuminated encyclopedia, the Thomas Cantimpratensis “Liber de nature rerum” from the second half of the fifteenth century. (Photo courtesy of Wroclaw University Library, Poland)

 

The project creates the largest digital archive of medieval manuscripts and ancient geographical atlases in Poland. It uses a solution consisting of IBM System x servers and Storage disk and SAN solutions to address the Big Data challenge of managing and providing fast search and retrieval services for up to 300 terabytes of information.

“The Wroclaw University Library’s mission is to protect, preserve and ensure broader access to Polish cultural heritage,” said Adam Zurek, Head of the Department of Scientific Documentation of Cultural Heritage, Wroclaw University Library. “We selected IBM to help us identify, choose and implement a solution in line with our goals of digitizing the library’s documents and making them available to the broader public online.Read the rest of the story.

See images from the digitized library

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IBM CEO Ginni Rometty Speaks at the Lisbon Council in Brussels

In this newly released video, IBM CEO, Chairman and President Ginni Rometty talks about what it means to have competitive advantage in an era of innovation. The speech took place July 12 at the Lisbon Council, a Brussels-based think tank.

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Virginia Rometty headshot

IBM’s Virginia Rometty

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Biography of Virginia Rometty

-Posted by Regan Kelly

IBM Adds New German Language IT Roles in Madgeburg Services Center

IBM has announced a new services center in the city of Magdeburg, Germany that will create up to 300 German language IT roles in the next three years. This enables IBM to deliver an industry leading range of technology services to German-speaking clients.

City of Madgeburg, Germany

City of Madgeburg, Germany

The new IBM Services Center: Magdeburg, a wholly owned subsidiary of IBM, will provide German speaking IBM clients with high value application development, application maintenance and systems integration services that address the increasing demand for flexible software capability to harness the benefits of emerging Big Data, cloud and mobile business technologies.

The center will offer IBM’s German-speaking clients locally based skills and technical expertise to drive innovation and adoption of new technology, while working with IBM’s globally integrated capability network. Collaborating with the local government, it is anticipated that the center’s development will stimulate economic activity in the region.

Read more at The Wall Street Journal.

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What did you think of this story, Greater IBM? Leave a comment and let us know.

Related:

Are you a problem solver? A difference maker? An innovator? Find IBM Jobs

Find Jobs at IBM (German language page)

 

- Posted by Regan Kelly