IBM to Acquire The Weather Company’s Digital Businesses, Its a Big Deal

Earlier this week IBM announced its plans to acquire The Weather Company’s B2B, mobile, and cloud-based Web properties. This would include WSI,, Weather Underground, and the Weather Company brand. The intention would be to roll them into a new Internet of Things (IoT) focused business. The new business would be based on the Watson analytics platform.

The acquisition gives IBM access to customers whose business depend on managing and accessing large amounts of data. This is significant on several fronts. More than 5,000 clients in industries like, insurance, transportation, retail, government and logistics would now engage with IBM in areas that they hadn’t previously.

This is a great win for IBM’s Softlayer cloud platform. It would create a new and very visible proof-of-concept for the companies product. The scale at which The Weather Company operates at is incredible. They monitor three billion weather forecast reference point, more than 40 million smartphones and about 50,000 airplane flights per day. They analyze that data and feed it back to their client base daily. There is a good chance, that if you own a smart phone of any kind — The Weather Company grabs data from it approximately every 15 minutes.

The scale is almost more than you can fathom. To put it into perspective, The Weather Company’s mobile and web properties handle seven times the volume of google search. They serve up roughly 82 million unique monthly visitors. In terms of size, their mobile apps are the fourth most popular and downloaded apps on both Apples and Androids respective marketplace. These will all become IBM assets. As they move the various properties entirely over to Softlayer cloud, it will be a very public case study and demonstration of the size and performance that the cloud offers. A true testament to IBM’s cloud offering.

The power of big data analytics — on one of the largest scales possible. This will be a great way to demonstrate the value and benefits that analytics brings to a companies business in the cloud. It is estimated that analytics is a 17 billion dollar industry as of this writing, and is projected to grow at 20% annually. Helping businesses to understand their markets, their customers, and ultimately the world around them is no longer an option — its a requirement. This 2 billion dollar deal is a true sign of leadership and commitment to the industry.

We are not only in an age of big data. But also in an age of making sense of that data through analytics. We no longer are confined to structured operational data. We now have the ability to make sense of the sea of unstructured information that was previously unavailable. Analytics will fundamentally change your business and create new points of disruption for you and your market. If your not making sense of your data. Your not making sense of business :)

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