IBM and Cognitive Procurement at the Global Procurement Tech Summit

cognitive computing agsandrew/Adobe Stock

Going back decades, IBM’s own procurement efforts proved transformative not only for Big Blue itself but for all of procurement. Owing in part to the ideas and legacy of the late Gene Richter — arguably the most influential CPO this industry has had — IBM has brought a constant stream of new procurement ideas to the technology, manufacturing and services industries. And it’s not stopping.

Up Next: Cognitive Procurement

At the ISM and Spend Matters Global Procurement Tech Summit this week in Baltimore, IBM’s Vice President of Global Procurement Dan Carrell will be giving a keynote that will raise some eyebrows. Even if you’re not an IBM customer, supplier or peer — and chances are you’re at least one of the three — his talk is truly can’t miss stuff if you care about the future of procurement and how technology will lead the way to new possibilities, savings and value generation.

Dan's keynote, titled Watson Analytics & Cognitive Procurement, will go beyond just talking about the marvels of Watson. Rather, the focus of his discussion is on putting a new way of procurement capability and thinking at the core of the business. In his talk, Dan will share how “IBM is on a path of continuous transformation, with advanced analytics powering our new era supply chain.”

This transition is about how procurement can fundamentally alter its value equation from the business, and in IBM’s case, how the function is helping drive the change “from hardware to solution company” and from “reactive and inflexible to predictive, transparent and cognitive.”

Pay attention. It’s far more important than just the technology solutions that IBM is applying, selling and partnering to gain access today. It’s about getting smarter — or more cognitive, if you will.

But what is cognitive procurement? In Dan’s words, cognitive procurement and cognitive technology are about:

  • Using systems and approaches that are able to learn behavior through education
  • Managing structured and unstructured data
  • Supporting forms of expression that are more natural for human interaction
  • Continuing to evolve as computers experience new information, new scenarios and new responses
  • Unlocking new insights and enabling optimized outcomes

This is heady stuff. And it’s critical to understand. Which is why #ProcureTech2016 is a movement, not just a technology summit.

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