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May 23, 2012

IBM Launches Cloud Platform to Accelerate E-Commerce

By Erin Harrison, Executive Editor, Cloud Computing

As more businesses erect online storefronts, the digital buying experience needs to be seamless, predictable and efficient. To helps chief marketing officers (CMO) and e-commerce executives in these efforts, IBM (News - Alert) is rolling out new software designed to improve data sharing and automate marketing and supply chain processes in the cloud.

IBM’s Commerce on the Cloud is intended to help marketers improve customer service, increase marketing effectiveness and reduce operational costs, according to Craig Hayman, general manager at IBM Industry Solutions.

“Accelerating commerce on the cloud is a dramatic step forward in enabling companies to transform their business operations,” Hayman said. “Companies of all sizes can now deliver a better client experience by providing personalized marketing, selling the way customers want to buy, and delivering products through a supply chain that's prepared for the unpredictable.”

In announcing the new platform from the Smarter Commerce Global Summit in Madrid this week, IBM said Commerce on Cloud improves the online commerce process by helping businesses automate their buying, marketing, selling and service processes, and accelerates the flow of business-to-consumer transactions by automating and synchronizing supply and demand engines.

In addition to IBM Commerce on Cloud, IBM said it has also enhanced several of its on-cloud collaboration networks to accelerate digital information sharing across demand and supply processes to offset the inherent volatility of commerce. 

IBM is also offering a new certified Digital Data Exchange Partner program, aimed at helping marketers more effectively manage their marketing, promotions and customer behavioral analytics. The program offers an integrated view of information, developed across ad networks, survey vendors, testing vendors and e-mail service providers to give marketers enhanced insight and better execute their marketing programs and services.

With the Digital Data Exchange partner program, IBM is allowing retailers and third-party digital marketing providers to relay behavioral data to analyze and enhance specific processes and improve the customer experience.

IMB said a major financial services firm, for example, could extend their digital marketing ecosystem of tools and solutions within minutes instead of days or weeks, by adding online surveys to better understand their site visitors or their retargeting capabilities for a second chance at converting prospects.

IBM B2B Cloud Services is currently available across a community of 300,000 trading entities and more than 90 public and private networks, and is now available in 34 new countries, including Australia, Brazil, India, New Zealand and all Central and Eastern European countries. IBM currently manages more than $100 billion in commerce transactions a year and 4.5 million daily client transactions.

IBM also recently announced its SmartCloud services with advanced features, available for its customers and partners, according to a report by TMCnet. IBM officials said the company has seen rapid adoption of its SmartCloud portfolio as customers and partners move to the cloud.

Edited by Braden Becker

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