IBM Interconnect 2017

Reflections on IBM InterConnect 2017

Brad Miller Opinion

Well it has been an exciting week at the IBM InterConnect 2017 conference. With around 20,000 attendees there was never a shortage of people to talk to and share ideas with.

The highlight for me has been to witness the enthusiasm of organisations embarking on their IoT journey and their commitment to innovation in general.

Getting serious about IoT

IoT certainly isn’t anything new. Some companies have been utilising this technology for 20 years or so. But with recent research forecasting a total of 22.5 billion connected IoT devices by 2021, after $4.8 trillion related investment, clearly now is the time that organisations are starting to get serious about shifting IoT from idea into action.

What I have seen changing, and at quite a rapid pace, is the integration of IoT into traditional enterprise systems alongside powerful analytics to generate a new level of insight. To really drive this rapidly changing business environment, I was impressed with just how many organisations, big and small, are devoting entire teams to the art of Innovation.

Some of the applications of this technology that I found really interesting were in the IBM IoT Playroom. I particularly enjoyed the simple yet highly effective ModCam sensors, and how well they could work for an Airport, or indeed any environment that has highly fluctuating people movements. Facilities management company ISS has taken this one step further and are truly experimenting with Big Brother watching! As customers approach the reception desk, facial recognition technology notifies staff with such things as coffee preferences, meeting hosts and all before any words are even spoken.

The playroom demo with Interior Automation was another example that struck a chord with me. It illustrates how effectively any organisation can track inventory movements and automate reordering processes. The returns for operations with lots of inventory movements and high turnover are evident.

Maximo meets analytics

Back in my old stomping ground with Maximo and I was also impressed with the integration of Analytics and Maximo through the IBM Watson platform. The benefit this delivers for organisations in assisting with true predictive capabilities has been requested across the asset management community for many years.


With the speed at which companies are embracing innovation I can’t wait for InterConnect 2018. I know there will be so much more to learn and get excited about.