IBM announced new software and the creation a new consulting practice dedicated to the emerging category of "Smarter Commerce," which is focused on helping companies swiftly adapt to rising customer demands in an era dominated by social and mobile networks.
The Smarter Commerce consulting practice extends IBM's investments in business analytics and optimization. The new software and services offerings, supported by global sales and marketing resources, will address the spectrum of enterprise commerce.
IBM's Smarter Commerce initiatives draw on its WebSphere Commerce platform and a $2.5 billion investment in on-premise and cloud-based software from IBM's acquisitions of Sterling Commerce, Unica and Coremetrics.
IBM will deliver new integrated software building on these extensive capabilities, new services, and an education initiative to arm an extensive ecosystem of partners, suppliers and customers with new skills to connect the entire Smarter Commerce ecosystem. This includes:
- A new global business services consulting practice offering deep insights into Smarter Commerce.
- New cloud analytics software that enables companies to monitor their brands presence in real-time through social media channels to better asses the effectiveness of new services and product offerings, fine tune marketing campaigns and create sales initiatives in real-time.
- Software that automates a company's ability to design and deliver a personalized shopping experience, campaigns and promotions on new services and products online, or through mobile devices.
- An "IBM University" will provide educational resources for sellers and partners to build the job skills required for the Smarter Commerce marketplace.
IBM estimates the Smarter Commerce market opportunity at $70 billion, driven by demand from clients that must bring new levels of automation to marketing, customer engagement and sales, as well as core processes for production, fulfillment and service for much more immediate responses to changes in markets and buying trends.