Deep analytics become more relevant in daily life

By Greg Sikes

If you have watched TV in the last two years, or walked through an airport, you have likely seen an IBM Smarter Planet advertisement.  At the core of this message is the idea that the world is becoming more Instrumented, Interconnected, and Intelligent.  Just take a look around your house, or at the communication device you regularly clutch in your hands, and you will see evidence of the first two points.  I looked up the word “intelligent” in the dictionary sitting on my desk; included in the definition was the text “the ability to learn or understand”.How does a device get the label “smart”?  Aside from good marketing intended to increase sales, smart products hold the promise of optimizing performance based on behavior patterns.  An example might be an energy consumption monitor that helps meter appliance usage such that it occurs during the lowest cost cycle within a given time frame.

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Uh Oh: The personal information in our database has been breached

By Richard E. Neff

There is so much in the news about cyber-security. Much of the focus is on cyber war as a new and inevitable weapon, Stuxnet and the vulnerability of our national infrastructure. Some of the news is about use of computers to steal US technology and trade secrets, with culprits—if traceable—often located in China or Russia. It is definitely scary stuff, we all fear the prospect of several weeks without power, or endless gas lines should the oil pipeline infrastructure take a hit.

However, companies face a much more mundane and growing risk: personal information in their possession is being stolen by cyberattacks much more frequently than before. This is a form of cybercrime, not a new method of waging war, and the goal is generally identity theft, often an attempt to obtain credit (and debit) card numbers. All companies are vulnerable, but in the absence of required corporate standards, except in certain sectors (e.g., financial services/banking), some companies have done little to protect their personnel and customers from such hacker attacks. Moreover, these crimes are very difficult to prosecute; most originate from users in other countries. In the realm of data breaches and identity theft, we are truly One World.

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Lead Generation Easier Today or Harder?

By Barry Lieberman

A “lead” means many things to many people. To some it’s a list of contacts based upon a specific
location, industry, age group or other demographic. While to others it’s the contact that has
completed an online form or responded to an advertisement. Yet to many sales people it’s
a person who has demonstrated need, budget, authority and a specific timeframe to buy a
specific product or service.

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