IBM is betting big on the Internet of Things — the idea that connected devices (everything from refrigerators to toasters to automobiles) will be able to provide real-time data that makes our lives easier. The tech giant announced Monday night that it will spend $3 billion over the next five years to install and develop Internet of Things systems worldwide. In total, more than 2,000 IBM researchers, software developers and consultants will work on the efforts.
“For IBM, this isn’t about hype. It’s about real accomplishments and real opportunities,” writes IBM chief storyteller Stephen Hamm in a blog post. “We have completed thousands of Smarter Planet engagements with clients already, everything from smart grids to smart urban command centers to smart water management. and, today, we’re announcing a new business unit to broaden our reach.”
In addition to the big investment in Internet of Things, IBM also announced today that it will work directly with The Weather Company, operator of The Weather Channel and Weather.com.
“IBM and The Weather Company are forging a global partnership to bring real-time weather insights to businesses so they can make better decisions,” wrote IBM Vice President of Analytics Joel Cawley. “We’re combining IBM’s industry-leading big data and analytics capabilities with The Weather Company’s scientific expertise and cloud-based weather data distribution system. The two companies will jointly develop new real-time insights services for specific industries, including retail, insurance, energy, utilities and logistics.”
As part of the alliance, Matt Rosoff at Business Insider notes that The Weather Company will shift part of its business from a private data center onto IBM’s SoftLayer framework. The Weather Company will continue to use AWS for key parts of its cloud offering. In 2013, AWS’s Jeff Barr touted the relationship with The Weather Company at an industry event, with Barr noting that The Weather Company was using AWS for speed, agility, reduced cost and scalability.
“I am excited about moving to the IBM cloud for B2B. I remain excited about our partnership with AWS for other parts of our business,” The Weather Company’s CIO, Bryson Koehler, tells Business Insider.
IBM also inked an alliance with Twitter late last year.
“We’re busy integrating Twitter data into a selection of cloud-based services, including Watson Analytics, the service that brings visualization and predictive capabilities to business users via mobile devices,” wrote Cawley. “In the coming days, we’ll launch a beta program on our Bluemix platform that enables developers to build Twitter data streams into their applications. And, as with The Weather Channel, we’re jointly developing services for industries, in this case including banking, consumer packaged goods, retail and media and entertainment.”
Editor’s note: The investment by IBM was initially incorrectly reported, based on inaccurate information posted on the IBM blog. The number has been corrected in this report. The report also has been updated to better reflect the business relationship between IBM and The Weather Company, clarifying that AWS remains a cloud partner with The Weather Company.