Tuesday, June 16, 2009

IBM to Invest $100 Million in Mobile Research

IBM plans to shift $100 million investment over the next five years into a major research effort which aims to advance mobile services and capabilities for businesses and consumers worldwide.

In particular, IBM said it is aiming to drive new intelligence into the underpinnings of the mobile web. The three focus areas for IBM's research investment are: mobile enterprise enablement, emerging market mobility and enterprise end-user mobile experiences. Analytics, security, privacy and user interface, and navigation will be concentrated on across the Research effort.

"Mobile devices are gradually becoming ubiquitous and helping us transcend many boundaries -- geographical, economic, and social, among others," says Dr. Guruduth Banavar, global leader of the mobile communications focus for IBM Research and director of IBM Research - India. "With high penetration, simple user interface, and significant cost advantage for end users, mobile telephony holds the future of communication and exchange of information for the enterprise."

As an example of its work, IBM cited its first-of-a-kind (FOAK) program, which used a technology named "BlueStar" to develop automated mobile devices and application management services for insurance claims processing. The pilot enabled an insurance company to significantly reduce the amount of time required to process claims. The right agents were identified through a combination of GPS location technology, presence awareness capabilities and an analysis of all candidate agents' calendar availability. Once agents were selected, the state of their mobile phone's configuration and security status was acquired by BlueStar, and updated, if necessary. BlueStar then assisted with preparing and formatting necessary claims case information for the specific mobile device configuration, and securely transmitted all data to the device.