IT-giant IBM and weather analyst The Weather Company, through its B2B division WSI, have decided to join hands to bring advanced weather insights to businesses by combining IBM’s cloud computing, industry consulting and analytics with WSI’s weather data and forecasts.
WSI is the professional division of The Weather Company* and provides weather-driven business solutions, enabling enterprises to make better decisions using the most accurate and precise weather data available. The division served businesses in a wide array of sectors, including in the aviation, energy, insurance, and media markets, as well as federal and state government agencies.
Using weather to boost performance
According to IBM and The Weather Company, weather can be seen as the single largest external swing factor in business performance. In order to provide businesses with “a deeper understanding of the connections between weather and business outcomes”, the two companies agreed to partner up. Through a better understanding, by combining weather data with traditional business data and rich data from an unprecedented number of Internet of Things (IoT) enabled systems and devices, businesses will be able to improve operational performance and decision-making, possibly saving billions.
The two companies agreed on a four year partnership during which IBM will invest $3 billion in an IoT unit to develop a portfolio of cloud services, software and related intellectual property. The Weather Company will shift its weather data services platform to the IBM Cloud, integrate its data with IBM analytics and cloud services, and build on IBM’s open platform to advance IoT solutions.
The new services to be delivered to businesses are:
- Watson analytics for weather: IBM and WSI will enable easy integration of historical and real-time weather data in business operations and decision making with IBM analytics platforms such as Watson Analytics.
- Cloud and mobile app developer tools: Entrepreneurs and software developers will be able to build mobile and web apps that take advantage of WSI data combined with data from operational systems, connected devices and sensors using analytics through IBM’s cloud application development platform.
- Business and operational weather expertise: IBM consultants will be trained to combine WSI data with other sources to more effectively interpret industry pain points, providing clients new insights to solve business problems.
Commenting on the partnership, David Kenny, Chairman and CEO of The Weather Company, says: “This deal combines the capabilities of the world’s largest and most advanced commercial weather company with the leader in big data and analytics. Together, we’ll help businesses and governments transform their decisions and operations around weather fluctuation at a scale that hasn’t been possible until now.”
Bob Picciano, Senior Vice President of IBM Analytics, adds: “There’s an opportunity to inform all business operations and decision-making with real-time actionable insight delivered securely via the cloud and extracted from all this data collected from sensors all over the planet. The Weather Company and IBM partnership can be a catalyst to making critical business systems even smarter.”
* The Weather Company is a company which focuses entirely on the weather, delivering billions of forecasts per day around the world, through a media portfolio, including The Weather Channel, weather.com, WSI and Weather Underground.