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IBM flexes analytics muscle.

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New York and London: IBM yesterday announced new global consulting services and software which apply predictive analytics to the management of financial operations, fighting fraud and nurturing customer relationships.

IBM says the new offering is based on experience drawn from more than 20,000 analytics engagements, and combines innovations developed by IBM Research with new predictive technologies from dozens of companies IBM has acquired.

"These new capabilities target the agendas of global business leaders operating in a world of accelerating complexity, unpredictability and massively available information," said Bridget van Kralingen, senior vice president, IBM Global Business Services. "By integrating analytics into business processes and converting new insights into action, IBM is helping organizations transform big data from a threat into an opportunity, one that will be their most valuable natural resource."

IBM says enterprises across all industries are under increased pressure to extract new insights from the explosion of available data. In response, IBM has expanded its multi-billion dollar investment in business analytics to address, initially, three client issues — fraud detection, financial operations and customer service — and to help organizations increase revenues.

The new solutions — branded as IBM Smarter Analytics Signature Solutions — can be delivered by IBM consultants, supported by the firm's applications management services capabilities, and cloud offerings. Clients can access these capabilities through IBM's big data technology platform that includes Hadoop, stream computing, data warehouse, and information integration and governance capabilities, along with visualization and discovery, application development, systems management and industry accelerators. To date, the IBM big data platform has been adopted by more than 100 business partners.

Clients can access IBM's solutions through a global network of eight Analytics Solution Centres. Credit qualified clients can take advantage of financing for services solutions and zero percent loans for IBM software with IBM Global Financing.

IBM Smarter Analytics

The new analytics services and solutions are part of IBM's larger focus on business analytics and optimization, which spans hardware, software, services and research. IBM projects $16 billion in business analytics revenue by 2015. To meet that target, it has established a portfolio of analytics solutions; grown its business and industry expertise to almost 9,000 business analytics and optimization consultants, 400 researchers, and created global analytics solution centres in Berlin, Beijing, Dallas, London, New York, Tokyo, Washington and Zurich.

In a week in which PwC made a modest investment in digital analytics with the acquisition of Logan Tod, IBM says it has acquired 28 companies to build targeted analytics and information expertise since 2005, and continues to expand its ecosystem, which today consists of more than 27,000 IBM business partners. IBM has also secured hundreds of patents a year in analytics.

IBM claims these investments have enabled it to develop breakthrough technologies like IBM Watson, a new class of industry specific analytical capability that uses deep content analysis, evidence-based reasoning and natural language processing to identify relationships buried in large volumes of data that can be used to improve decision making.

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