ChannelVision Magazine

A new Juniper Research survey has found that 65 percent of responding en- terprises with more than 10,000 employ- ees are considering or actively engaged in blockchain deployment. This marks a significant rise from last year, when the corresponding figure was 54 percent. Nearly a quarter of companies con- sidering deployment had moved beyond proof of concept into trials and commer- cial rollouts, with dramatic diversification in use cases during the the past year, says Juniper. Only 15% of proposed de- ployments were now related to payments (compared with 34% last year), with sig- nificant interest in opportunities across diverse fields including logistics, authenti- cation and smart contracts. The findings revealed that nearly half of companies were considering using Ethe- reum as their blockchain; reflecting the fact that its token standardization has enabled the creation of an ecosystem of dApps (dis- tributed applications) to be built on its chain. Furthermore, all responding companies which had already invested over $100,000 in blockchain indicated they would be spending at least this amount again on the technology over the next 12 months. Responses also cemented IBM’s po- sition as the go-to company for deploy- ment, with the tech giant ranked first by 65% of respondents, nearly 10 times that of second-placed Microsoft (7%). Large Enterprises Aiming to Deploy Blockchain IBM Trains Watson for Specific Verticals In an effort to provide easier-to-imple- ment AI options that don’t require a data scientists on staff, IBM recently outlined prepackaged Watson tools pre-trained for use cases in various industries, such as agriculture, customer service, human resources, manufacturing and marketing. Each Watson pack is in different states of release but take best practices and training knowledge from various IBM engagements. For the Watson Decision Platform for Agriculture, for instance, IBM has inte- grated its weather data as well as IoT end points in agriculture and images to provide a “predictive view of a farm.” Farmers would utilize an app for real-time deci- sion support. The Watson Supply Chain Insights, also generally available, aims to couple weather data, traffic reports and regulatory changes to give enterprises a better view of a supply chain. Also released or expected soon are a Watson assistant for marketing that converts metrics to apply to personalized campaigns; a tool for advertisers that uses weather data to tailor adverting; a toolsets based on IoT ana- lytics for manufacturing industrial equipment with a focus on product inspection, productiv- ity, skills gaps and material costs as well as downtime and defects; and a Watson human resources tool that will analyze the back- ground of top performing employees with an aim to find similar traits among applicants. Channel Vision | September - October, 2018 10 EMERGENT