IBM has launched a new initiative called Smarter Commerce that leverages the company's software and services experience to provide real-time analysis of online consumer behaviors around marketing campaigns and to offer insights around a sales campaign's aims and budgets. For the initiative, IBM has deployed 1,200 personnel for e-commerce consulting services and put together a training program for its business partners and clients. The move follows $2.5 billion worth of e-commerce vendor acquisitions by the company over the past few years, according to Computerworld.
In integrating parts of acquisitions such as Coremetrics, Sterling Commerce and Unica, IBM looks to take aim at a $70 billion market, says VentureBeat. The company's announcement gives it a head start on HP, which is expected to announce a similar initiative this week and positions the company to react to the changing dynamics of commerce by merging cloud analytics and social media with real-time customer relations.
In a blog post, Steve Hamm, an IBM communications strategist, said:
This big shift in how customers connect brings profound consequences-redefining the term "commerce." What used to be seen as a flow of goods from manufacturers through a distribution chain to customers has become an interactive feedback loop, where consumers, producers, distributors, the media, and marketers all have new roles to play. Smart companies see "selling" not so much as a traditional function of their organization but rather as an ever-evolving set of services they perform for their customers-in concert with their business partners. "Done well, when you market to individuals, it's not an intrusion but truly is a service to the consumer," [Craig] Hayman says.