IBM announced a global strategic alliance with WSI, a division of The Weather Company, to shift its weather data services platform to the IBM cloud and integrate its data with IBM analytics and cloud services for enterprise developers.
In moving its WSI business unit to the IBM cloud, The Weather Company will further develop its multi-vendor cloud strategy, where the technology they build is cloud-agnostic. Earlier, as the company began migrating out of its own data centers, it became a case study for how it used Amazon Web Services. The Weather Company will continue to use AWS following the IBM deal.
IBM Watson Analytics for Weather may be used, according to the two companies, for integration of historical and real-time weather data by enterprise developers. The companies will also jointly develop industry solutions for insurance, energy and utilities, retail. and logistics, among other industries.
IBM says its Bluemix Platform-as-a-Service will also be key in providing cloud and mobile application developer tools for building apps that take advantage of WSI data.
WSI says that its weather data services platform ingests and processes data from thousands of sources, resulting in approximately 2.2 billion unique forecast points worldwide, and averages more than 10 billion forecasts a day on active weather days.
The partnership will enable enterprise clients to more easily integrate WSI weather data into their operations and decision-making.
According to IBM, the deal builds on its pledge to invest $3 billion over the next four years to build up an Internet of Things business group. "There’s an opportunity to inform all business operations and decision-making with real-time actionable insight delivered securely via the cloud and extracted from all this data collected from sensors all over the planet," Bob Picciano, senior vice president, IBM Analytics, said in a statement. "The Weather Company and IBM partnership can be a catalyst to making critical business systems even smarter."
The Weather Company Chairman and CEO David Kenny noted that the partnership was a "watershed moment for businesses that have long been impacted by weather but haven’t had the rich data or enhanced decision-making ability to drive positive business outcomes. The combination of our new high-resolution forecasting capabilities with IBM analytics opens up a world of possibilities for the enterprise."