IBM and The Weather Company partner to bring advanced weather insights to business
ARMONK, N.Y. and ANDOVER, Mass.March 31, 2015 /PRNewswire/ -- IBM (NYSE: IBM) and The Weather Company through WSI, its global B2B division, today announced a groundbreaking global strategic alliance to integrate real-time weather insights into business to improve operational performance and decision-making. As part of the alliance, The Weather Company, including WSI will shift its massive weather data services platform to the IBM Cloud and integrate its data with IBM analytics and cloud services.
Weather is perhaps the single largest external swing factor in business performance – responsible for an annual economic impact of nearly half a trillion dollars in the U.S. alone1. While weather prediction is increasingly precise and granular, business systems generally assume every day is the same. As a result, knowledge of impending extreme weather disruptions – or even routine disruptions that drive well understood behaviors and systemic reactions – don't always trigger operational responses. Combining weather data with traditional business data and rich data from an unprecedented number of Internet of Things (IoT) enabled systems and devices will fundamentally transform enterprise decision-making.
The IoT and cloud computing allow for collection of data from more than 100,000 weather sensors and aircraft, millions of smartphones, buildings and even moving vehicles. WSI's forecasting system ingests and processes data from thousands of sources, resulting in approximately 2.2 billion unique forecast points worldwide, and averages more than 10 billion forecasts a day on active weather days.
By migrating its weather data platform to IBM Cloud, WSI will be able to accelerate the growth of one of the largest cloud-based applications in the world. Partnering with IBM also will enable enterprise clients and industry ecosystems to more easily integrate WSI weather data – including rapidly updated forecasts – into their operations and decision-making. Once integrated with enterprise processes, weather data can be combined with data from supply chains, customer buying patterns and other sources to create more valuable insights.
IBM and WSI will deliver new cloud services to businesses in three key ways:
By combining IBM's cloud computing, industry consulting and analytics expertise with WSI's precision weather data and forecasts, the two companies can now enable entire industries to utilize understanding of weather on business outcomes and take action at a local level. For example:
"This deal combines the capabilities of the world's largest and most advanced commercial weather company with the leader in big data and analytics. Together, we'll help businesses and governments transform their decisions and operations around weather fluctuation at a scale that hasn't been possible until now," said David Kenny, chairman and CEO of The Weather Company. "This is a watershed moment for businesses that have long been impacted by weather but haven't had the rich data or enhanced decision-making ability to drive positive business outcomes. The combination of our new high-resolution forecasting capabilities with IBM analytics opens up a world of possibilities for the enterprise."
The partnership builds upon IBM's investment of $3 billion over the next four years in an Internet of Things (IoT) unit to develop a portfolio of cloud services, software and related intellectual property.
"There's an opportunity to inform all business operations and decision-making with real-time actionable insight delivered securely via the cloud and extracted from all this data collected from sensors all over the planet," said Bob Picciano, senior vice president, IBM Analytics. "The Weather Company and IBM partnership can be a catalyst to making critical business systems even smarter."
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For more information on IBM's Internet of Things business, please visit www.ibm.com/IoT
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About WSI, the professional division of The Weather Company
Weather Means Business™. WSI is the world's leading provider of weather-driven business solutions that enable enterprises to make better decisions using the most accurate and precise weather data available.
WSI serves some of the world's biggest brands in the aviation, energy, insurance, and media markets, as well as federal and state government agencies. We are proud to be a part of The Weather Company, which focuses entirely on the weather, delivering billions of discrete forecasts per day around the world, through a media portfolio that includes The Weather Channel.
(1) Source: U.S. Economic Sensitivity to Weather Variability, Bulletin of the American Meteorological Society, June 2011.
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