IBM Watson launches global consulting unit for internet of things

IBM's Watson innovation centre in Singapore

IBM has launched its first global consulting practice for the internet of things (IoT), a part of its major artificial intelligence investment Watson.

The company will now work with clients, such as Ricoh, to help deliver new business models “as a service” that integrates the Watson IoT Platform. The company is now offering free access to existing clients and will work with developers and start-ups on new IoT innovations.

Harriet Green, general manager, IBM Watson IoT, Commerce and Education, said: “The Internet of Things is making an enormous impact on our lives and helping to spur even deeper levels of innovation for those developing the connected devices and products of our future. IBM is helping knock down the barriers to getting started with IoT, making it accessible for clients as they begin their digital transformation.”

IBM said it will be dedicating over 1,500 industry experts to the consulting offering and opening up the IoT platform for free.

According to Ricoh, it will be using its partnership with IBM to find ways that the internet of things can improve the workplace.

“Ricoh is helping customers meet the needs of constantly changing workstyles in the 'new world of work,' where information is at the heart of every successful business decision,” said Mona Abutaleb, senior vice president of services, Ricoh Americas and president and chief executive officer of Mindshift Technologies, a Ricoh company. “We are teaming with IBM and combining our knowledge and expertise to deliver Ricoh's 'Workstyle Innovation Technology,' which helps our clients collaborate and share information more easily and efficiently."

The news follows an announcement from IBM last month in Munich of a fresh $200 million investment into its global Watson plans.

This month IBM also took part in The Drum’s Do It Day, using Watson as a tool to help the police find missing people faster.

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