This year IBM offered its customers and partners a new conference experience, a collocated event — IBM Think 2018 and PartnerWorld. More than 30,000 customers and partners showed up in Las Vegas, March 20-22, to attend the business and technology event. IBM Think 2018 was designed to educate, inspire and promote connections.
In addition to keynote addresses, breakout sessions, the Inner Circle, client sessions and campuses that highlighted cloud and data; modern infrastructure; security and resiliency; and business and AI — there was the BP Zone at Think, dedicated meeting rooms, an expert bar and networking opportunities.
The Beacon Awards were given to 17 IBM business partners. And Think Academy offered boot camps, hands-on labs, and an experiential zone.
Did you attend and want to relive the experience? Miss out on Think this year? Either way, we’ve got you covered. Click through our gallery below for highlights and a recap.
The Chairman’s Address: Putting Smart to Work
Ginni Rometty, chairman, president and CEO, opened IBM Think 2018 and peppered the company’s new mantra
– Putting Smart to Work – throughout her keynote address.
She talked about the unique moment in time, which happens about every 25 years, when both business and technology architectures change simultaneously. This is one of those rare times that has the potential to change everything — with the help of technologies such as cloud, AI, Watson, and machine learning.
IBM 5 in 5
IBM Research kicked off a Science Slam
with predictions for five technologies that will change lives within five years.
Expert speakers took to the stage in succession to address these topics: how cryptoanchors and blockchain will unite against counterfeiters; emerging new security methods based on lattice cryptography; AI-powered robot microscopes that might save the oceans; exploding AI bias, but how unbiased AI will surive; and why quantum computing will be mainstream in five years.
PartnerWorld at IBM Think — Channel Chief John Teltsch
John Teltsch, IBM general manager, global business partners – also referred to as the company’s channel chief – addressed more than 2,200 partner attendees
at the vendor’s co-located conference. That’s twice the number of partners who showed up at the 2017 PartnerWorld event.
Teltsch outlined IBM’s commitment to partners and to investing in key areas: partner experience; simplification of incentive programs; partner enablement, competency and certification; expanding embedded business solution models, expanding third-party marketplace approaches and new go-to-market models; and lowering the barrier to entry for partners to interact, develop and buy from IBM.
The Spotlight Stage hosted numerous informal sessions for partners. Here, Benny Cohen, president and CEO, KPI Digital Solutions
, gives a presentation on “One Integrated Solution.”
Fireside Chat on IBM’s Next-Generation Partner Ecosystem
IBM’s channel chief, John Teltsch, and Flagship Solutions Group CEO Mark Wyllie, an IBM business partner, engaged in a high-level, open-ended discussion
about the vendor-partner relationship, growing with IBM, and what partners need from IBM on their path to success.
The Zen Lounge was where partners could refresh at the oxygen bar, in a massage chair, or retreat pod. For show attendees who wanted something else energizing, there was also an early morning run, yoga and kickboxing.
B.digital — Global Champion, 2017 Watson Build Challenge
Paolo Mazza, CEO of b.digital, the innovation lab of IBM business partner Blueit Group, talks about his company’s solution
– bioBOTGuard – the winner of IBM’s first Watson Build Challenge. The solution uses drone technology and cognitive visual recognition through Watson APIs to help agronomists and farmers save time and money.
Earvin 'Magic' Johnson, CEO, Johnson Enterprises
needed little introduction at IBM PartnerWorld at Think. Standing at 6’9”, the retired L.A. Lakers player and three-time NBA MVP champ addressed attendees at an afternoon keynote.
He talked about the challenges and comebacks that he had throughout his two careers — the second being the business empire he built after retiring from the game. The need to refresh and change was part of Johnson’s journey as it is with partners transforming their businesses.