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IBM Watson At Your Service: New Watson Breakthrough Transforms How Brands Engage Today's Connected Consumers

With the latest IBM Watson debut, IBM is enabling clients to better respond to market shifts in real-time, automate marketing, and transform the way they service their clients, while improving their global brand presence.

"IBM is taking Watson to the masses in ways that positively impact people's lives, from helping doctors improve patient care to helping businesses put consumers first, in an increasingly mobile world," said Manoj Saxena, General Manager, IBM Watson Solutions. "Customer engagement is a natural fit for Watson, which can instantly create a strong bond between who customers are as individuals, and what types of information will help them reach their goals. The end product: users will come away feeling known as people, empowered as consumers, and engaged as satisfied brand ambassadors who are willing to champion the business to friends and family." This is IBM Watson; How Can I Help You? For the first time, consumers will be able to tap into the power of IBM Watson for their everyday needs. The IBM Watson Engagement Advisor "Ask Watson" feature greets, and offers help to, customers via any channel, be it through a website chat window or a mobile push alert, saving consumers the hassle of performing searches, combing through websites and forums, or waiting endlessly for a response about the information they need. Calling upon IBM's Big Data Analytics technologies, IBM Watson retrieves data about customers to help ensure interactions are tailored to their needs, and search its corpus of stored information for the best solutions.Since its television debut, IBM Watson is smarter, faster and smaller -- having gained a 240 percent improvement in system performance, and a reduction in physical requirements by 75 percent. The cognitive computing system can now be run on a single Power 750 server using Linux, transitioning from its original size of a master bedroom to that of four pizza boxes. Businesses that use IBM Watson can have the solution up and running quickly using a cloud computing environment, or deploy the technology on-premise. IBM Watson transforms the customer service experience The state of today's customer engagement leaves much room for improvement. 270 billion customer service calls are handled annually, with roughly 50 percent unresolved, which for businesses means an increase in cost per escalated call by three times. In hindsight, 61 percent of those calls could have been resolved with better access to information. It is no surprise that Forrester's 2012 Customer Experience Index revealed only 37 percent of brands received good or excellent customer experience index scores, while 64 percent received a rating of "OK," "poor" or "very poor" from their customers.Making matters more urgent for brands is the imminent spike in Millennial consumers who are expanding their footprint in today's economy, using paychecks for insurance, bank accounts and telecom plans. Their expectations for brands: fast and personalized service on the go, via mobile device.The IBM Watson Engagement Advisor will also help brands manage their existing customer engagement functions, by reducing burdens faced by call and e-service centers that struggle to keep up with skyrocketing demand. The move of IBM Watson into customer engagement positions it within IBM's Smarter Commerce initiative, which provides a range of solutions and services to better connect more than 2,000 brands to their increasingly digital customers, accelerating business to the speed of life through intelligent automation.

About IBM

For more insights on this story from ANZ and Nielsen, please visit the Smarter Planet Blog at http://asmarterplanet.com/



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