UPDATE 2-IBM, Twitter to partner on business data analytics

29 Oct 2014 | Author: | No comments yet »

IBM and Twitter forge partnership on data analytics.

Twitter Inc.’s microblogging service represents an enormous public archive of ideas and opinions that can signal trends and potential business opportunities.

Twitter and IBM have partnered to provide businesses with data about what people are saying about their companies on Twitter, and how they can use social chatter to improve their bottom line.International Business Machines Corp. and Twitter Inc. announced a far-reaching alliance to apply data from the microblogging service to solve business problems.Just a few months after teaming up with Apple AAPL 0.30% , Big Blue revealed its latest partnership on Wednesday — one with Twitter to launch a new venture that will package Twitter data with IBM’s cloud-based analytics and business consulting services.

The deal is designed to marry IBM’s analytics software and large consulting staff with the huge volumes of information Twitter generates about users’ actions and opinions. In a joint press release, IBM IBM -0.42% and Twitter TWTR -4.36% said their partnership will provide a variety of cloud-based services, with data culled from Twitter users, to offer businesses a cultivated look at their customers’ behavior and opinions. It’s part of a deal the two companies announced on Wednesday that’s designed to let IBM’s business clients mine the 500 million daily Twitter messages for competitive intel. IBM will also use the data analytics partnership to support its own consulting business, allowing the company to tailor those services to be specific to certain industries — from retail to finance. More recently, Facebook and Nielsen joined forces this summer, allowing the social network to send viewer details like age and gender to the TV-stat-crunching company, in an effort to help advertisers learn about what shows folks are watching online.

That includes adding Twitter data analysis to some of its new cloud services and making the information available to tens of thousands of IBM consultants. “Twitter provides a powerful new lens through which to look at the world — as both a platform for hundreds of millions of consumers and business professionals, and as a synthesizer of trends,” IBM’s CEO, Ginni Rometty, said in a statement. “This partnership … will help clients enrich business decisions with an entirely new class of data.” The idea is to make money from corporations looking for a deeper analysis of Twitter trends—analysis that, with the brain power of Watson, IBM, and Twitter see as going far beyond understanding, say, whether or not a new running shoe is popular. According to Twitter vice president Chris Moody, a deep fryer maker, for example, could analyze tweets about soggy french fries to learn about problems with its new line of products.

The announcement comes as IBM has been struggling to find new drivers for growth, as revenue from its big consulting and software businesses has slowed lately. In true Big Blue form, there is even now a way for IBM staffers to get Twitter certified, although we’re not exactly sure what that means. “Ten thousand IBM global services consultants will be trained and certified in becoming the very best in helping you apply Twitter data,” Rennie said.

Under pressure from Wall Street to improve its financial results, IBM seems to be banking on transforming itself into a gateway between stodgy corporate buyers and cool Silicon Valley technology. Most of the entries in the Library of Congress reflect the views of wealthy famous men, Moody said. “Twitter represents the views of the planet,” he said.

In that case, the pitch was that both companies would benefit—IBM by offering services to help big companies integrate Apple products, Apple by selling the products. Twitter too is facing skepticism from shareholders these days, in its case about its ability to grow and hold its audience; to be valuable to IBM’s business customers, that’s exactly what Twitter will have to continue to do.

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