Reinventing Fashion with an Unlikely Triumvarate: IBM, Salesforce and Westfield BeSpoke Digitize a Mall

By Lisa Hammitt, VP Cloud Marketplace at IBM

“We are really going to do this…the two of us are defining the Salesforce-IBM relationship right here…to Dreamforce, to Dreamforce!” Lindsey Irvine and I clinked our coffee cups during what hardly resembled my tearful going-away coffee. Maybe one door was closing for me at Salesforce just as another was opening at IBM but, in a mere moment, two colleagues were transformed into a new world order.

Forces of personality can do that but seldom those without a shared purpose. To the outside world, Salesforce and IBM may seem a pair to form the unlikeliest of friendships. One is an emerging San Francisco innovator that drives the annual San Francisco Dreamforce event, the other an industry stalwart that moves matter around for a living. For Lindsey and me, though, ours is the most natural of alliances, and our love of innovation anchors us to it.

To call us iconoclasts would be overly simplistic — our companies seek to move with a technology grain as much as disrupt it — and our rallying cry is to consumerize it. As its heads of Salesforce Wearables and IBM Cloud Marketplace, respectively, Lindsey’s and my mission is to is put customer success first, and we extended our hands to Lindsey Ann Thomas, Vice President of Westfield BeSpoke, as she tackles the worldwide luxury mall’s strategy of a digitized mall.

Thomas understands well what we know, that there is $2.3T of value moving through Digital Marketplaces and, in a world where everyone is both a consumer and a merchant, Wearables allow us to buy and sell anywhere, anytime and across all channels. That is why Forrester cites that 68% of businesses see Wearables as strategic to their customer, partner and employee engagement. Bellwethers like Westfield BeSpoke in San Francisco, offer a glimpse of bridging a thriving marketplace and digital community — a heat map of customer engagement, co-located retail innovation, pop-up shops and personalized shopping experiments — connecting in ways like never before.

Technology’s influence on fashion is widespread and evident, through both its adjacency to retail and people. But, for all technology’s individual contribution, what is new is that it is the ecosystem that creates a multiplier effect, and customer connections are more valuable than individual buying units. Maybe it happens by charting out a new course and what makes Westfield a perfect partner is that they are the first to bring participation, personalization and product 2.0. to luxury shopping, all in one marketplace.

Westfield BeSpoke is the crown jewel and its allure lies in sophisticated, personalized recommendations, fashion advisory networks and digitized customer journeys. IBM Watson in the Cloud Marketplace and Salesforce Wearables, together, form the keystone that bridges this physical and digital divide. And, since most of the data lives on the edge, it takes an unlikely alliance like this to make sense of all this data, in real-time, while charting a new experience for every customer.

As just one example, think of an app that knows your social profile on Instagram and LinkedIn, and, as you walk up to the entrance to Bloomingdales, can recommend the perfect outfit in the store based on your social graph! We foresee a whole new class of apps that augment and extend how we imagine the shopping experience.

Want to hear more about what this new world looks like? Come hear about the partnership of IBM and Salesforce building bridges of success at Westfield BeSpoke in their own words. We promise to take you on a journey like never before.