IBM and Twitter

by Natalie Miller • @natalieatWIS

Clients respond to IBM and Twitter partnership

Published October 31, 2014


Millions of users post to Twitter each day, leaving trails of data in their wake. This untapped data is a window into what people around the world think about just about any topic at any time, and the ability to analyze and understand this data can change the way business decisions are made.

At IBM’s Insight conference in Vegas this week, a partnership between the tech giant and the social networking platform was announced and conference attendees immediately began tweeting their excitement. Hashtag IBMandTwitter flooded the feeds as Chris Moody, Vice President of Twitter Data Strategy, explained the how Twitter data is revolutionizing business.

“I think it’s cool … it’s an interesting partnership,” says conference attendee Anthony Rose of VSP after the announcement. The ability to know what people say about the insurance provider would be invaluable, he says, and this partnership will make that capability easier for businesses to utilize.

“We are still looking at how we can use big data,” says Dan Hoffman of Farmers Insurance. “My first reaction [to the announcement] is it seems logical and natural. To me, it’s the natural way they need to go to keep innovating and growing.”

Companies have already begun to realize the power of this Twitter data, Chris Moody, Vice President of Twitter Data Strategy, explains.

To know what the world thinks about a decision before you make it is powerful. If a major computer manufacturer knows what products will be popular before building the inventory, better efficiency can be realized by manufacturing just the right amount of inventory. This can change the way inventory management is done. Twitter data can also help improve customer service by monitoring what people say about a particular product. Is there a maintenance or manufacturing issue with a product? This data can show what people are tweeting and allow businesses to react in a timely fashion. Moody also announced that the social media company has partnered with Harvard Medical School to understand more about food poisoning.

For conference attendee Lynn Van Sweden, Project Manager at Yale, this announcement represents a significant change in the way things are done. Imagine a university with the ability to crawl Twitter data for extremely upset or angry college students and learn of a potential incident before a student is able to harm themselves or others.

“With the combination of IBM analytics and Twitter, these kinds of problems can be highlighted,” she says. This type of example can be used outside of education institutions as well, she explains, for other areas of defense against possible threats or incidents.

“We believe Twitter data has unlimited value and near-limitless application,” says Moody. “This data is incredibly powerful. We think in the future, every significant business decision will have Twitter data as an input.”

Conversations happen faster on Twitter than the real world, however, and that’s a lot of data to manage. Twitter sought a partner to help unleash this knowledge to the enterprise and get the data into the tools that today’s organizations use.

“This is a landmark partnership that will change the way people work and the way business decisions are made,” comments Alistair Rennie, General Manager, Business Analytics, IBM.

IBM’s industry-leading cloud-based analytics, customer engagement platforms, and consulting services will allow Twitter data to grow and reach more clients.

“IBM and Twitter makes a magical combination,” says Moody. “We are really excited.”

The partnership covers three areas of value. The first is the integration of Twitter data with a wide range of IBM analytics services on the cloud. According to IBM, the plan is to offer Twitter data as part of select cloud-based services, including IBM Watson Analytics, and a cloud-based data refinery service that enables application developers to embed data services in applications, as well as IBM’s Watson Developer Cloud and IBM Bluemix platform-as-a-service.

Secondly, IBM and Twitter will deliver a set of enterprise applications to help improve business decisions across industries and professions. The first joint solution will integrate Twitter data with IBM ExperienceOne customer engagement solutions, allowing sales, marketing, and customer service professionals to map sentiment and behavior to better engage and support their customers.

Lastly is the area of specialized enterprise consulting. IBM Global Business Services professionals will have access to Twitter data to enrich consulting services for clients across business. Additionally, IBM and Twitter will collaborate to develop unique solutions for specific industries such as banking, consumer products, retail, and travel and transportation.

“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,” says Ginni Rometty, IBM Chairman, President and CEO. “This partnership, drawing on IBM’s leading cloud-based analytics platform, will help clients enrich business decisions with an entirely new class of data. This is the latest example of how IBM is reimagining work.”

“When it comes to enterprise transformation, IBM is an undisputed global leader in enabling companies to take advantage of emerging technologies and platforms,” says Dick Costolo, Twitter CEO. “This important partnership with IBM will change the way business decisions are made – from identifying emerging market opportunities to better engaging clients, partners and employees.”

With the development of new solutions to improve business decisions across industries and professions, IBM and Twitter will be able to enrich existing enterprise data streams to improve business decisions. For example, the integration of social data with enterprise data can help accelerate product development by predicting long-term trends or drive real-time demand forecasting based on real-time situations like weather patterns.

For more information, visit or, and follow the conversation at #IBMandTwitter.



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