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IBM accelerates big data initiatives with acquisition of Vivisimo

BY Staff Writer

Armonk, N.Y. — IBM announced a definitive agreement to acquire Vivisimo, a leading provider of federated discovery and navigation software that helps organizations access and analyze big data across the enterprise. Vivisimo is a privately held company based in Pittsburgh. Financial terms were not disclosed.

Vivisimo software is designed to capture and deliver quality information across the broadest range of data sources, no matter what format it is, or where it resides. The software automates the discovery of data and helps employees navigate it with a single view across the enterprise, providing valuable insights that drive better decision-making for solving all operational challenges.

Today’s news accelerates IBM’s big data analytics initiatives with advanced federated capabilities allowing organizations to access, navigate, and analyze the full variety, velocity and volume of structured and unstructured data without having to move it.

The combination of IBM’s big data analytics capabilities with Vivisimo software will further IBM’s efforts to automate the flow of data into business analytics applications, helping clients better understand consumer behavior, manage customer churn and network performance, detect fraud in real-time, and perform data-intensive marketing campaigns, the company.

"Navigating big data to uncover the right information is a key challenge for all industries," said Arvind Krishna, general manager, Information Management, IBM Software Group. "The winners in the era of big data will be those who unlock their information assets to drive innovation, make real-time decisions, and gain actionable insights to be more competitive."

"Businesses need a faster and more accurate way to discover and navigate big data for analysis" said John Kealey, CEO, Vivisimo. "As part of IBM, we can bring clients the quickest and most accurate access to information necessary to drive growth initiatives that increase customer satisfaction, streamline processes, and boost sales."

IBM estimates 2.5 quintillion bytes of data are created every day from a variety of sources including sensors, social media, and billions of mobile devices around the world, making it difficult for businesses to navigate and analyze it to improve competitiveness, efficiency, and profitability. IDC estimates the market for big data technology and services will grow at an annual rate of nearly 40% to reach $16.9 billion by 2015.

Vivisimo brings over a decade of experience and innovation in data navigation and visualization technologies for both structured and unstructured data, making it easier for business users to get value from all of their data and content. Vivisimo’s ability to index and search data across multiple repositories is a distinguishing capability, applicable to all industries and clients.

Vivisimo has more than 140 customers in industries such as government, life sciences, manufacturing, electronics, consumer goods and financial services. Clients include Airbus, U.S. Air Force, Social Security Administration, Defense Intelligence Agency, U.S. Navy, Procter & Gamble, Bupa, and LexisNexis among others. Upon the closing of the acquisition, approximately 120 Vivisimo employees will join IBM’s Software Group. IBM will incorporate Vivisimo technology into its big data platform.

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GE Capital provides credit facility for Le Château

BY Staff Writer

New York — GE Capital, Corporate Finance announced it is administrative agent for a $70 million asset-based credit facility for Le Château, a leading Canadian specialty retailer and apparel manufacturer. The loan will be used to refinance existing debt and support working capital needs.

Headquartered in Montreal, Le Château specializes in the design, development and production of contemporary fashion apparel, accessories and footwear. It has 239 stores in Canada as well ten stores under license in the Middle East. Through its vertically integrated operations, Le Château produces approximately 35% of its garments in its own production facilities in Canada.

“GE Capital understands that flexible structuring leads to effective capital solutions,” said Emilia Di Raddo, president and secretary of Le Château. “Their retail industry expertise and knowledge of our local markets are real differentiators.”

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Albertsons LLC creates social and digital marketing team

BY CSA STAFF

BOISE, Idaho — Albertsons LLC is sharpening its focus on social media and digital marketing with the creation of a new social and digital marketing team that will be led by technology and social marketing expert Karl Meinhardt.

Meinhardt’s history in the technology side of grocery retail extends back to the first launch of Albertsons.com in 1998, where he was responsible for developing a first-ever Fortune 50 grocery e-commerce solution for Albertsons Inc. Meinhardt went on to found several startup companies in the foodservice and social gaming markets after leaving that role.

“As a founder of several start-up companies, Karl has a comprehensive understanding of information as a powerful source of service,” said Mike Massimino, Albertsons LLC’s VP center store. “Karl’s expertise of turning knowledge into a strategic advantage has assisted many organizations in their long term product and service goals, and his efforts to date with our social media endeavors have already established a firm foundation on which the rest of our social and digital marketing strategies will be built.”

The social and digital marketing team includes Jana Jeffery, digital community manager, with more than 18 years of experience as a marketing and technology professional for Fortune 100 companies and several emerging startups, and Elizabeth Perryman, digital content manager, who brings experience in public and media relations, having worked with companies throughout the Northwest. Combined, they bring 26 years of social, digital and marketing experience to the newly created team. They join Dan Mackay, director of web services, to form the company’s digital marketing team.

“Every company knows that they ‘should’ be using social channels to connect with customers, but only those with an acute understanding of their customer, and how to relate to and connect with those customers will be successful in engaging those customers in the social conversation,” Meinhardt said. “It’s an exciting segment of grocery retail marketing because the space is constantly evolving. Awareness, agility, and brand personality are the key factors of success in the ever-changing digital/social frontier. This team has the skill to deliver those and more.”
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