A greener IBM
At the Cleantech Forum in San Francisco, Peter Williams, CTO of IBM's Big Green Innovations, discusses the role of technology in the green movement. He addresses everything from new virtualization systems to new sensor networks that will help monitor climate change.
A greener IBM
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Speaker Name: IBM got into this around about a year ago. I've been in my job one year next week and the way it started was we had a thing called the innovation jam where we threw one question, "What are the innovations that mattered to IBM and to the world?" We threw that out there to every IBM employee, their families, and quite a lot of our customers as well. And in the space of three weeks through a specially designed website, come to think of it as strategy 2.0, we had about 140,000 people contribute something like 40,000 ideas. Those ideas were moderated down and down and down to 10 major themes. Some of those are not relevant to the environment. They have to do with medicine and 3D internet and banking and so on; but others are and they form the core of what is today the great innovations. The similarity with Microsoft is the next stage which is basically we then went out and kind of ransacked the company looking for technologies and processes and software that we could parlor into various different forms of environmental business. Very much a theme within all of that, Tom Freidman assumed spelling wrote that part of the key to greening the planet is to improve the intelligence with which we understand the planet and the intelligence with which we operate our own kind of human processes and manage our own footprint upon it. And you know that would be a great motif I think in talking about the role of software in the green movement. As you would expect, IBM is extremely active in areas about self and virtualization, reducing the inaudible consumption of individual machines; rolling small machines up into larger ones which are more economic and more efficient. My specific area of responsibility within IBM though is in the products and services that we sell outside. And you can think about those in three levels--understanding the world and industrial processes; and that is primarily through the software that operates and controls large network's essences, those can be within the environment within an aquaflor assumed spelling or within the atmosphere or within some other municipal water infrastructure, or inside a specific plant. So all of the software that controls those sense of networks. The second area you can think of is the kind of the optimize and design--figuring out how all the different variables that you have; for example, if you have a supply chain, how do you optimize carbon emissions against working capital, and inventory and cost and time and customer service? Most likely how do you do that dynamically? Daily, possibly even more frequently than that because you're probably going to have to. How do you design products to the point that Mark was making? How do you design products with a lower environmental footprint? The third area that you can think of is operating measure, and that's the traditional kind of applications realm. And there you're seeing companies like SAP and some of the big ERP vendors, some of the big MES vendors, and new players, environmental health and safety software, software for controlling things like photophotaic assumed spelling cells; software to enable things like smart buildings, better industrial process control and so on. IBM is active in the first two of those in terms of the sensing piece and the optimization piece. We partner in the third area, in the application areas so we partner with a number of different players to be able to offer a complete service.
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