In a move designed to ramp up the tech giant’s Internet of Things offerings, IBM this week extended the power of Watson after entering into a definitive agreement to acquire The Weather Company’s B2B, mobile and cloud-based web properties.
As reported by Computerworld New Zealand, terms of the deal will see Big Blue take ownership of WSI, weather.com, Weather Underground and The Weather Company brand.
But with the dust now settled on the deal - for an undisclosed fee - why did IBM do this deal?
“In a conversations with IBM's Bob Picciano and TWC CEO David Kenny, it became clear that three things drove this deal,” writes Ted Schadler, Research Analyst, Forrester Research, via the analyst firm’s Official Blog.
First up, according to Schadler is “massive amounts of atmospheric data.”
“Digital weather is the most important exogenous data source on the planet,” he says. “Weather sets the mood of the nation and all us citizens.
“If you want insight into people's actions, the global supply chain, and myriad risks and opportunities, forecast the weather. TWC already handles 26 billion API calls for this data each and every day.”
Secondly, Schadler cites a “powerful data ingestion platform” as a key factor in the acquisition.
“TWC ingests 40 terabytes of every day, maybe 15 times more data than even Google,” he explains.
“TWC's data from sensors, cameras, satellites, radar, and 150,00 citizen meteorologists is the largest source of crowdsourced and engineered environmental data on the planet.”
And thirdly, as Schadler puts it, “an anchor tenant of pre-integrated data and insights fuelling IBM's insights service business.”
For Schadler, IBM is betting big on the notion that businesses need insights services injected into their real-time processes and applications.
“TWC gives IBM a hugely valuable and differentiated source of data and insights that it can pre-integrate with other major sources, including Twitter sentiment insights and Box's document market,” he adds.
“By pre-integrating these data, building predictive and cognitive models on them, and blending them with your data, IBM is in a position to deliver differentiated insights services.”
Yes, it is clear that Schadler likes this deal, so much so that the analyst concludes that “it signals a new path for insights services and the software industry itself: insights-driven business.”