Returning from the whirlwind of IBM’s Cognitive Engagement Sales Academy, it wasn’t the bright lights of Las Vegas or the sumptuous hospitality laid on at the many evening receptions that really impressed me but IBM’s focus on partners and the opportunities that Watson promises in 2017.

A new era with Watson  

Sitting alongside IBMers last week at the Cognitive Engagement Sales Academy was quite something; as the IBM Sales team and Business Partners were collectively told the benefits of IBM Commerce becoming IBM Watson Customer Engagement.

There’s been huge anticipation and excitement about Watson since IBM Marketing Solutions was re-branded in November last year to Watson Marketing, and I was eager to attend the Sales Academy in January to really get under the skin of the new offering.

But it wasn’t just the innovation and enhancements of Watson that were so exciting to find out about, it was the whole nature and focus of the conference which makes 2017 feel like the start of a new era in marketing solutions for IBM. This really was business partnership at its best with IBM Sales and Business Partners accessing the promise of Watson together.

What will Watson Marketing bring?   

So what did I learn? There seems to be a new clarity with IBM Watson Customer Engagement, with a highly structured and well-defined platform, distinguished by user-centric design, smooth integration and most importantly cognitive expertise. There are already embedded cognitive capabilities in the new offering such as struggle detection for websites and content tagging, with many more features on the way.

At heart, Watson Customer Engagement has been designed to help overcome the data challenges that marketers grapple with on a daily basis and to manage the growing complexities of big and dark data which will dominate the year ahead. So I left the dazzle of Las Vegas for a snowbound UK really rather excited about getting home, despite the weather, and seizing the opportunities Watson offers in 2017.

Written by Adele Ross.


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