IBM Amplify 2015 Highlights: IBM Announcements and Customer Successes

IBM Amplify 2015 keynote

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  • Doug Heise Vice President, Global Marketing
  • May 18, 2015

The IBM Amplify conference last week in San Diego was a great opportunity for attendees to learn from industry leaders and experts on how they create the ideal customer experience and exceed customer expectations across all channels. CoreMedia, a Platinum Plus partner, was very pleased to showcase its customers and solutions in five of the sessions.

IBM Announcements from Deepak Advani, GM IBM Commerce

Deepak Advani, the new General Manager of IBM Commerce kicked off the event by introducing a number of key themes and announcements related to IBM Commerce. Advani wanted the audience to know that IBM was committed to making life easier for business practitioners (i.e. business users in marketing, merchandising, and e-Commerce) and would be focusing on two critical areas this year in e-Commerce:

  • Analytics: Data analysis would now be pervasive across everything they do.
  • User Experience/Design: IBM would focus more on creating intuitive experiences for practitioners. This includes a new focus on elegant and beautiful UI design.

To support these themes, Advani introduced the following new products and initiative

  • Journey Analytics / Journey Designer: These new tools, designed to sit on top of IBM’s Commerce and Marketing suite, will allow business users to track customer behavior over time and turn them into action. Journey Analytics lets practitioners identify segments, set business goals, and understand which types of customers behaviors are most likely to help them meet these goals. With the insights gained from Journey Analytics, practitioners will be able to use Journey Designer to design and test new customer journeys that can include both online and offline interactions.
  • Commerce Insights: Commerce Insights will make it easier for Web merchandisers to see how their products and categories are performing and to make changes that optimize sales and customer loyalty. Merchandisers can see underperforming products within the context of the online store and access in-line analytics that allow them to make real-time course corrections.
  • Facebook Partnership: Advani and Blake Chandlee, GVP and GMS of the Facebook Partner Team jointly announced that Facebook would be the first company to join IBM’s new Commerce THINKLab to better integrate with IBM Commerce tools like Silverpop. This partnership would help clients solve real problems by combining real-time marketing data with a range of Facebook data including likes, comments and complaints. IBM’s data analytics will then be used to help big brands find and communicate with more finely targeted audiences on Facebook.
  • Watson Analytics: Finally, Advani announced that IBM would be making its supercomputer, Watson, available as a cloud service to help e-Commerce customers “figure out relationships and data that matter” to them.

IBM Customer Case Studies

The last part of the session introduced various IBM success stories, including:

  • Marks and Spenser: David Walmsley, Director of M&, discussed how they had been able to use IBM technology to combine content and commerce, provide business users and customers with a real-time view of product inventory, and deliver these experiences across all channels.
  • Humana: Neil Pierce, Head of e-Communications for the insurance and wellness company, Humana discussed how they used IBM Unica and Silverpop to support their “six figure volume of annual messaging” activities along with new mobile apps. He announced that they have seen a 180% increase in mobile opens over the last year with IBM.
  • Citi Bank: Andres Wolberg-Stok, Global Head of Emerging Platforms and Services for Citi Consumer Banking, described what it took to design and deliver a new consumer banking app for the Apple Watch in just 120 days. 

Amplify e-Commerce Keynote: The New Science of e-Commerce

Joe Dittmar, IBM’s Vice President of Retail, eCommerce, Omnichannel, and Global Sales, kicked off this session by showcasing the huge global opportunity in e-Commerce. He reported that the B2C market was worth approximately $334B and the B2B opportunity was more than twice that at $780B.

He then went on to outline their key goals for IBM e-Commerce customers for this year including: 1) accelerate revenue growth, 2) increase business agility, 3) help their customers deploy and consume IBM products and services.

IBM Amplify e-Commerce keynote

After this introduction, Joe introduced two customers to talk about their success with IBM e-Commerce solutions:

  • REI: Kirk Stephens, Divisional Vice President; Supply Chain at REI, described how IBM helped them to replace their original order management system with a new solution that helped them achieve a remarkable 10X return on investment in just 4 months.
  • 1-800-Flowers: Arnie Leap, the CIO of 1-800-Flowers, described how IBM helped them to successfully deploy an IBM WebSphere Commerce platform to replace the disparate, siloed e-commerce systems used by its 16 sub-brands.

Next up was Adam Orentlicher, Director of eCommerce Offerings & Strategy at IBM. Adam was there to announce that IBM had made a $7B dollar bet on the cloud as a primary deployment platform for e-Commerce solutions.

Adam explained that IBM’s new Commerce in Cloud offering had already enabled customers to go from concept to revenue in less than 90 days. Adam pledged that new e-Commerce functionality would be delivered to cloud customers first, then rolled out to on-premise customers.


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