IBM’s shift to cloud pays off with gains for Thai firms touted

Corporate August 25, 2017 01:00

By JIRAPAN BOONNOON
THE NATION

IBM’s transformation into a cognitive solutions and cloud platform company, as the US-based technology giant now describes itself, is paying off. Revenue from these operations came in at 45 per cent of its total global revenue in the first half of this year.



Parnsiree Amatayakul, country general manager of IBM Thailand, said the company embarked on the change in direction in 2015, seeking to apply innovations and emerging technologies that help businesses to improve their productivity, operational efficiency and engagement with their customers.

The cognitive solutions and cloud platform was designed to support enterprises in areas as diverse as commercial operations, banking, oil and gas, education, aviation and retail. 

The three sectors that have made the most use of the company’s new services are commercial enterprises, startups and banking. Companies in these sectors have gained from the use of services such as digital services channels and a range of personalised services, says the company, which had its origins as a pioneer in computing hardware.

For the first half of the year, the parent company gained US$8.8 billion in revenue from the cognitive solutions and cloud platform operations. The 45 per cent share of total revenue was hailed by the company, which earned total revenue of US$19.3 billion worldwide for the period.

The company expects that by the end of this year, some one billion people will be exposed to its new services. It now counts about 200 million consumers, 8.2 million software developers, as well as 100 million doctors and patients in healthcare sectors that have benefited from the cognitive solutions and cloud platform in 45 countries. It has more than 500 partners covering 20 industries.

The company says the cognitive solutions and cloud platform have high potential in Thailand and the rest of the Asean region, as businesses “are able to adopt and apply the solutions and the platform to support their operations, such as through the creation of personalised promotions as part of a promotional campaign, and reduce business process costs”. In Thailand, the top business categories to apply the cognitive solutions and cloud platform are oil and gas, and healthcare.

PTT uses these services to support operations at its gas separation plant.

Chulalongkorn Hospital uses the cognitive system to help in the diagnosis of diseases. The company has also joined with CAT Telecom to put the technology to use for its smart city project in relation to floods in Phuket. 

“We’ve built the IBM Cloud to be highly differentiated,” said Parnsiree said. “It’s a platform focused on the needs of businesses and industry verticals. Most of all, it is optimised from the chipset to serve the end-user experience. The platform allows clients to integrate data from their existing system with other kinds of data in the cloud – and uses Watson to make sense of all of it.”

She also said blockchain technology would be become a disruptive force that would create an explosion in new businesses. It would drive new business processes and support developments in Internet of Things technology, which would benefit business and improve people’s quality of life.