IBM Smarter Commerce Conference Yields New Supply Chain Observations
September 11, 2012
Supply Chain visibility and risk mitigation were among the several key issues examined at IBM’s recently-staged “Smarter Commerce Summit” in Orlando, Florida.
With our acquisition of Emptoris last December, shippers are gaining a larger measure of security and a buffer with ‘cloud’ backup,” said John Mesberg, Vice President, B2B and Commerce, IBM Software.
As reported in SCMR, the acquisition of Emptoris Inc. gave IBM additional strengths associated with a leading provider of cloud and on-premise analytics software. Mesberg said this “virtual supply chain management tool” is becoming more refined as shippers embrace the technology.
“We are always trying to strip out the complexity in the process,” he said.
Richard Douglass, Director Industry Marketing, Smarter Commerce, added that smarter commerce is helping shippers “sell on the water” during peak season, so that they can keep their inventories lean.
“It represents a breakthrough in distribution integration and inventory optimization,” he said. “All this is a process to curb risk and save our customers money.”
Messberg said that Smarter Commerce is a growing market opportunity in excess of $20 billion per year in software alone that centers on the customer experience.
“In five years, intelligent-guided marketing and selling will routinely put the ultimate control in the hands of customers,” he added.
Finally, IBM predicts three trends will contribute to the evolution of Smarter Commerce:
* Everything will be Data Driven: Stemming from buying behavior, social media interactions, and advanced analytics—essentially the application of Big Data, customers will project what they are in the market for instead of settling for what’s available on the shelf.
*Businesses Go Mobile First as Devices Proliferate and Channels Merge: Businesses will primarily design applications and processes for mobile deployment instead of PCs as individuals center their lives around smart phones and device use explodes exponentially.
*Cloud Computing will Lead Businesses to New Markets: Established companies will deploy a hybrid cloud model for rapid expansion to new markets while newer players will use the cloud in a virtual inventory model to start up quickly and cost-effectively compete against larger competitors.
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