IBM Pivots Further Toward Artificial Intelligence


Watson is taking over. Yeah, IBM is wrapping its whole Global Technology services division around Watson, better known as the artificial intelligence (AI) initiative, to streamline their networks. This is one more BIG step in IBM’s pivot away from older products (operating systems, computers, etc) into higher-growth areas like cloud and AI. I’m sure they know what they are doing, but why not just ask Watson if it will work? Just thinking.
(Bill Taylor/CEO)

International Business Machines Corp. is revamping its Global Technology Services division, which helps customers run their computer networks, to rely more heavily on artificial intelligence.

The new AI-capability will help IBM’s customers minimize disruptions such as server outages or switching malfunctions by predicting problems before they occur and automatically taking corrective action, such as brokering additional cloud capacity or rerouting network traffic around bottlenecks, Bart van den Daele, general manager of IBM Global Technology Services in Europe, said in an interview.

The product offering, powered by IBM’s Watson cognitive computing platform, will enable the company to maintain its market share in IT network infrastructure management, Van Daele said. New York-based IBM has been struggling to pivot from reliance on older products like computers and operating system software and into higher-growth areas like AI and the cloud. It’s facing stiff competition from rivals including Microsoft Corp., Cisco Systems Inc. and Alphabet Inc.’s Google, who have also begun emphasizing artificial intelligence and automation in products that help customers manage their servers and networks. Recently Microsoft announced a major reorganization of its global salesforce, in part to focus on selling AI-enabled products and services.

Since becoming Chief Executive Officer in 2012, Ginni Rometty has increasingly sought to integrate Watson — a suite of different artificial intelligence capabilities linked together — into all of IBM’s product offerings. She has done so in part because sales of its traditional products, which included hardware such as mainframes and servers that were physically located in customer’s offices, as well as the service contracts to maintain these systems, has been steadily declining. In the first quarter of this year, IBM notched a 20th consecutive quarter of revenue declines…”

Source: Bloomberg