'Book 'em, IBM'

Michael Vizard

Watch out criminals, fraudsters and other miscreants: IBM is now walking the digital beat.

IBM announced this week that it is acquiring i2, a provider of analytics software that is optimized to identify criminal fraudulent activity. Within the criminal justice community, for example, i2 provides a widely used application called COPLINK that is based on the company's Clarity Platform, which is a database that law enforcement agencies use to identify patterns of criminal behavior.

Craig Hayman, general manager for IBM Industry Solutions, says that IBM plans to make i2's software a major component of the company's recently launched Intelligent Operations Center platform, which is a cornerstone of IBM's Smarter Cities initiative that gives city managers access to a dashboard through which they can better coordinate disparate government services.


The addition of i2 will significantly expand IBM's analytics portfolio to specifically address criminal fraud, which is a multi-billion-dollar activity that spans everything from Medicare and fake prescription drugs to international trafficking of children and military procurement contracts. The challenge in each of these cases is making sure that law enforcement agencies, in addition to the companies affected, have access to the analytics tools they need to root out criminal activity that is usually buried in a mass of paperwork.

The good news is that with the advent of a Big Data tool that makes it more cost-effective to sort through all that information, Hayman says that IBM expects that IT will soon have a major impact on first catching the people who perpetrate these crimes, while also reducing losses, the cost of which, Hayman notes, eventually gets passed on to the average consumer.

There may not always be a cop around when you need one, but at the very least we should have IT systems in place that never need to take a day off. So go ahead and "book'em, IBM."

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