IBM to use Big Data for managing Bangalore’s water supply

IBM has tied up with the Bangalore Water Supply and Sewerage Board to create systems for managing increasingly complex water distribution system. Technology giant IBM today said it has tied up with the Bangalore Water Supply and Sewerage Board (BWSSB) to create systems for monitoring and managing increasingly complex water distribution systems using ‘Big Data and Analytics’.

Working closely with BWSSB, IBM created a command centre to monitor the water flow in 284 of 784 bulk flow meters in the city to give a single view of the functioning of all the bulk flow meters, amount of water transmitted, water supplied to individual parts of the distribution system, among others.

“IBM worked closely with BWSSB to create an operational dashboard, based on IBM Intelligent Operations Centre (IOC), which serves as a ‘command centre’ for monitoring, administering and managing the city’s water supply networks,” the company said in a statement.

The IOC-based solution, developed by IBM India Software Lab, contains GIS (Geo Information System) for Bangalore to enable a real-time view of flow meters, along with the ability to zoom in and out and pan and click on a specific flow meter, it added.

When an asset (GLR or flow meter) is selected, a user can have a view of the key performance indicators (KPIs) like latest flow rate, total flow in 24 hours and the average total flow over past seven days, as well as geographical location and time of last update, IBM said.

“Around 45 per cent of the water supplied by the BWSSB goes unaccounted and implementing this solution helps minimise unaccounted for water by detecting large changes in water flow, through real-time monitoring,” BWSSB (New Initiatives and Design Cell) Executive Engineer P N Ravindra said.
BWSSB is responsible for water distribution and sewage management in Bangalore.

Bangalore’s massive population growth from a mere 5.4 million in 2000 to over 10 million and counting today has put tremendous strain on the city’s water supply and distribution systems, IBM said..

The main sources of water (Cauvery and Arkavathi rivers) are not just sufficient to meet the water demand in the city to a permissible per capita norms, it added.

This leads to a big challenge in equitable distribution of available water across the divisions/subdivisions, which IBM’s solutions will provide to the authorities.

Read the complete article on economictimes.com | Posted by Khalid Raza

IBM Alumni: Big Data Expert Gretchen Gottlich on Meeting Mandelbrot & other Tech Career Wins

Gretchen Gottlich, Enterprise Information Executive

Gretchen Gottlich, Enterprise Information Executive

IBM Alum: Gretchen Gottlich

IBM Tenure: 3 years

View Gretchen Gottlich's LinkedIn profileView Gretchin Gottlich’s profile

View Gretchen Gottlich on TwitterView Gretchin Gottlich on Twitter

Gretchen is currently an independent consultant running her own company, Wallace Rose Investments, LLC, specializing in leading the development and deployment of Big Data solutions across many industry sectors.
She also founded and maintains the @5280BigData Twitter site which provides a global Social Media distribution channel for the wealth of Big Data thought leadership, mind-share, start-ups, tools, and solutions in the Boulder/Denver region.   Gretchen also has a legal background and worked as a Regulatory and Compliance Manager in the Healthcare and Financial sector.   In her spare time Gretchen is finishing up her second Master’s degree in Communication and Technology management.  This semester she is studying Global Internet Law and thus being re-acquainted with her love of the rigors and cerebral machinations of law she is now also studying for her LSAT exam.   Her dream is to study Intellectual Property law at UC Berkeley on scholarship.

Gretchen has degrees from University of Maine, University of Arkansas, Indiana University, Denver University. She has also done executive MBA program work at UC Berkeley, College of William & Mary, University of Portland.

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When did you join IBM, and what led you to join the company?

I joined IBM January 1997.  My father worked as an engineer for GE and traveled around the world building Nuclear Power Plants.   When I “grew up” I wanted to be just like my Dad and travel around the world and “do important stuff” only  I wanted to work for IBM (How I knew this in first grade I don’t know ;).  Later after NASA ,a short stint at Fruit of Loom (designing, building and deploying their first intranet), and being a founder of an Internet start-up I decided my intellectual home was to work in “Information” and IBM was of course at the top of list.

What was the workplace like when you joined, and how did it change over time?

Back in 1997, I am not sure IBM the entire company had truly embraced the significantly disruptive effects of the Internet, the huge opportunities that would become available, and, specifically, how FAST products and services would need to be available to go to market.   From a strategic perspective, IBM totally “got it.” I was working at the Hawthorne lab at that time and lots of work on the WOM was going on (the ore-cursor to WebSphere).  Some part of the business understood the speed of change, but some still had yet to learn.

But very quickly under the leadership of Lou Gerstner, all IBM quickly “got it” and came up to speed in the global marketplace.  IBM is huge, and it was really something to see a Fortune 500 company move so quickly. One could say nimble.  And there again is another strength of IBM, the company can come together and move as “one.”

What did you like most about your career with IBM?

What I liked most about my career at IBM was demonstrating the embodiment of what it was to be an IBMer.  There was something enjoyable to me to know I was on “that” team and it challenged me every day to be the best that I could be as researcher and as a consultant.  You don’t hire IBM to not get top-line results. You hire IBM to get “it” done well and know that you have a technical team that will support you 24/7. The customer meant something.  The customer, that relationship was everything.

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

IBM offered me many wonderful roles and opportunities.  However, I think two of best engagements.

I was an Asia/Pacific Senior. Enterprise Architect Consultant (Global Services) and worked in Canberra, Australia for one of the Government Ministries.    I led a team that in expanding the account by 17% within six months by implementing $1M USD web services integration architecture to support outsourcing efforts, utilizing COGNOS BI and performance management solutions.  We sold and delivered this solution using an “Agile like” methodology.  This was before the published draft of the Agile Manifesto in 2000.  This Agile like methodology was something I had created and fined tuned while at NASA and leading the Internet effort there.

The second exciting project was when I worked with the NA Transportation Global Services team.  I was on the team that did the “Watershed Study” which provided research and forecast how the Internet was going to completely distribute the Travel Industry sector.  The team interviewed research scientists at MIT and also traveled to London, Stockholm, Singapore, and Paris to interview corporate leaders in Travel Industry around the globe.  Those were some very exciting times when the Internet was “very young”.

“Bottomless wonders spring from simple rules…repeated without end.” - Benoit Mandelbrot

“Bottomless wonders spring from simple rules…repeated without end.” – Benoit Mandelbrot

And I have to add a third.  This memory is very close to my heart.  I was at the Hawthrone Lab in New York and was sharing with a colleague that I had just finished The Fractal Geometry of Nature by Benoit Mandelbrot and that I had found it quite fascinating.  My colleague calmly replied, “Oh yes Dr. Mandelbrot he is upstairs on the second floor.” I was so excited I believe I forgot excuse myself from the conversation before I flew upstairs, raced down the hallway looking at the name tags on the doors and when I found this cerebral GOD I tapped lightly on the door and asked if I could come in.  I believe all I could do was just gush like some silly teenage girl meeting Justin Bieber.  One of the richest rewards with working for IBM was being able to meet incredible minds that were contributing to Research and Development.

What has been your experience working as a woman in the technology industry?

It has had its ups and downs.  I can’t say any one region was more challenging than any other.  Issues that many women face in the workplace are perhaps more to do with a particular someone’s viewpoint and not geography.   I have worked for many large IT companies and I will say that although IBM is fantastically large there was always a sense that you as a person and an employee were cared for.  And I put person first there deliberately.  There was always this wonderful pride of being an IBMer.  We all were/are professionals.

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

I have a very good ability to see the strategic business value of a technology.  I am also extremely adept at listening to the customer and understanding (really hearing) the pain the customer is having.  One thing that I believe set me apart from others early in my career at IBM is that I quite readily reached out to others, companies, scientists, business owners and asked lots of questions.  I wasn’t afraid to not know the answer and ask the questions.  The value of this came into play with program management.  I get things done.  Period.

What were some of the most important lessons you learned – from both successes and failures? Who/what were the most influential to your careers?

Oh, wow I have far more failures in my career than successes =).

  1. Define the requirements not the solution. It’s important to listen to the customer and understand what the customer requires/needs and not jump into an immediate solution.  For example a customer might require/need transportation from point A to B.  The customer might think they need a car, when in fact Light Rail might fulfill the need especially if maintaining a small carbon footprint is also a requirement/need.
  2. The relationship with customers is built on trust. Trust is EVERYTHING.
  3. Professionally, when you do what you truly enjoy, energy is infinite and the resulting value is magnified.   It’s the best feeling in the world.

Major influencers on my career range from Einstein, Mandelbrot, Mrs. Goggins my third grade school teacher, Carnegie, Eleanor of Aquitaine, Sigourney Weaver as Ripley in Alien(s), the original Star Trek series, and TQM Training.

What advice would you give to Greater IBMers to help them be successful in their career? And is there anything specific to women? 

My advice to up and coming IBMers is to learn all you can both technically and business-wise with the wealth of resources that IBM offers.  Remember it’s an honor and a privilege to be part of IBM and you’re in good company. (All double entendres intended).

For women, the fact that Ginni Rometty is now CEO and Chairman I believe says it all.  Our time is now. Go make it happen.

Why did you move on from IBM and do you stay connected – with the business or your colleagues?

I moved on from IBM because I was in a hurry to reach for the brass ring and I felt I needed to advance faster. In hindsight, I left too soon and/or I never should have left. I sometimes think I wish I knew then what I know nowJ. I do stay in contact via some Linked In sites but not so much at a personal level.

Tell us about your work today and what you’ve taken from your experience at IBM to this role.

My work day is much like any consultant’s work day: there is a mission, there are planes to board, hopefully there is a road-map, there are politics to manage, and internet services to implement and integrate to meet customer requirements.  I do whatever it takes to get the job done.

What I took away from IBM was “knowing” with complete confidence what it was to be and equally important how to be an exemplary consultant with professional integrity.

What do you see are the major upcoming trends in your field and how do you stay attuned?

Big Data and all that fits under its umbrella.  I host a Twitter site called @5280BigData. The purpose of @5280BigData is to promote Big Data concepts, tools, and services developed in the Denver/Boulder metro region among global Big Data Research and Development and business communities. Companies I interact with a regular basis are Hitachi Data Systems,  SendGrid, Precog, FUSE, GNIP, Unvirsity Colorado Denver/Boulder, Tagwhat, Trueffect,  Techstars and Big Data organizations in London, UKI also write and present papers at conferences. A couple of my favorite available online:

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Posted by Jessica Benjamin, Brand System and Workforce Communications, IBM CHQ

Santa Uses Predictive Analytics for Toy Matching (Christmas Infographic)

Image from IBM Big Data Hub

Image from IBM Big Data Hub

Santa’s use of data has gone from reactive to predictive with his toy-matching engine code-named YULELOG.  By using data above and below the 85th parallel, including the letters from children, pout score, and toy build time, Santa can analyze what toys are trending and work to match these toys to all the boys and girls.

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Image Courtesy Of:

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

Santa is On His Way – How is Big Data Analytics Helping? (Infographic)

Image from IBM Curiosity Shop

Image from IBM Curiosity Shop

Santa is on his way, but retailers know they cannot rely on holiday magic alone to make the year’s busiest shopping season a success.  They are engaging with customers in new ways and using the power of analytics and a multi-channel approach to make the season bright.

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Images Courtesy Of:

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

IBM CEO Ginni Rometty Looking Ahead to The Smarter Enterprise

Photo:  IBM

Photo: IBM

IBM President and CEO, Ginni Rometty ranks #1 shares her views on the year ahead with The Economist for The World in 2014.  Citing a historic convergence of major technology shifts, where the world has become pervasively interconnected, she notes that there are more than a trillion interconnected and intelligent objects and organisms – including a billion transistors for every person on the planet.  Speaking of Big Data, she also mentions that, by one estimate, there will be 5,200 gigabytes of data for every human on the planet by 2020.  This will begin to transform the enterprise and give rise to a new model of the firm called ‘The Smarter Enterprise’.  There are three ways the Smarter Enterprise will differ from the traditional model:

  1. Use Predictive Analytics to make decisions
  2. Infuse intelligence into products and how they are made
  3. Deliver value to individuals rather than demographic segments

Read the full story below:

(The Economist, Nov 18, 2013) The Year of the Smarter Enterprise

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

Data Intelligence – Evolution of Computing Creativity from the 1950s

From the Information Machine video

From the Information Machine video

“As a function of design, the calculator provides creative man a higher platform upon which to stand and from which to work,”  – video narrator.

In honor of #ThrowbackThursday, here’s a fascinating peek back into the 1950s.  Charles and Ray Eames wrote and produced this commercial for IBM, called ‘The Information Machine: Man and the Data Processor’, which debuted at the 1958 Brussels’ World’s Fair.  It draws the viewer through the evolution of early problem-solving and design theory using a scratchy cartoon animation.  A primitive man, the first ‘artist’, walks the earth observing natural forms and storing their visual properties in a ‘memory bank’ which supplies the data for entire systems of logic.  From there, a somewhat comical leap from the first sail boat to the preeminence of the computer as a tool for creative man.

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To Learn More:

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

Big Data from the 1920s – Punched Cards Paving the Way for Social Security

1937 IBM advertisement for automating payroll (Image Credit:  IBM100)

1937 IBM advertisement for automating payroll (Image Credit: IBM100)

It was the largest accounting initiative in the nation’s history:  The pioneering technology collaboration between the Social Security Administration and IBM has changed the lives of hundreds of millions of retired American workers and their families since its inception in 1937.  Every employer and employee was assigned an identification (ID) number that would be used for collecting and tracking the funds on a regular basis.  (IBM100)

IBM’s essential role in the creation of the United States Social Security Program in 1937 – the largest accounting job in history to that point – has long been celebrated. But few know that the technology solution that was collaboratively developed by the Social Security Administration and IBM traced its roots back to 1920. That was when the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) and IBM first began creating punched card accounting systems for agricultural research.  Elwood Way, then a USDA employee with just two years of service, suggested using punched card equipment to coordinate data. This suggestion, Way later recalled, was based on once seeing IBM equipment in action at the Pillsbury Milling Company in Minneapolis. He had no real experience with punched card equipment per say, but since it was his idea, he got “stuck with the job.” Way quickly became a punched card systems expert, and during his decade with what became known as the Machine Tabulating and Computing Section of the Bureau of Markets, he oversaw more than 100 tabulating projects.

IBM Punched card (from IBM100)

IBM Punched card (from IBM100)

Government contracts and government checks During Roosevelt’s New Deal, IBM punched cards were not only used for tabulation and recordkeeping for sizeable government contracts, but they were also used to print the actual government-issued checks. For the 1935 Social Security Administration contract—considered at the time to be "the world's largest bookkeeping job"—millions of IBM punched cards were used. In fact, federal checks were based on IBM’s card design up until the mid-1980s.

IBM punched cards were not only used for tabulation and recordkeeping, but they were also used to print the actual government-issued checks. For the 1935 Social Security Administration contract—considered at the time to be “the world’s largest bookkeeping job”—millions of IBM punched cards were used. In fact, federal checks were based on IBM’s card design up until the mid-1980s. (from IBM100)

The government’s use of IBM equipment accelerated during the early days of Roosevelt’s New Deal, which saw the creation of a series of accounting system projects, each larger and more far reaching than its predecessor. In June, 1933, the government’s tabulating experts – including Way – joined with IBM to take on the task of creating a punched card accounting system for the Agricultural Adjustment Administration’s (AAA) Cotton Control Contract, which would manage contracts with more than 1.6 million cotton farmers. But at the time, the quick installation of IBM’s punched card system had more immediate benefits, according to Dr. Rexford Tugwell, Under Secretary for Department of Agriculture. “This machine that we are now using has prevented a revolution in this country, especially in the Mississippi Valley …. It’s a wonder. We got out these checks with it, and if we hadn’t gotten them out on time we would have had a revolution. Farmers were calling for those checks and there was no way in the world to get them out except by such devices as this company produces and furnishes to the country.”

The next big New Deal project for Way and IBM, in October 1934, was the Railroad Retirement Board (RRB). The RRB intended to create an accounting system to track the retirement funds for some 3.5 million employees whose deductions would be taken from their wages and posted to an interest-bearing account. But before the Board could order the workhorse IBM equipment for the program, the RRB was declared unconstitutional, and the program skidded to a halt. However, the work of Way and his colleagues on the RRB was not wasted, since the plan that was developed for that program would later greatly inform the system designed for Social Security. The punched card concept that was worked out for the Railroad Retirement Board – employee account numbers, wage reports, ledgers, forms and processes – served as the basis for that which would be successfully applied in 1937 with the creation more than 26 million accounts for the Social Security program, one of earliest and most successful Big Data initiatives in the industry.

by Paul Lasewicz, IBM Corporate Archivist

by Paul Lasewicz,
IBM Corporate Archivist

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