Tag: IBMs

13
Oct
2020
Posted in technology

Farming assistant app Agrolly wins IBM’s Call for Code contest

The innovative platform will be a one-stop-shop for farmers seeking out more information on what to plant and when.

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An autonomous combine–again, smaller and lighter than conventional farm machinery–harvesting HFHa’s first crop in September 2017.

Image: HandsFree Hectare

Agrolly, a platform built to help farmers in emerging markets, was chosen as the winner of IBM’s 2020 Call for Code Global Challenge.

Agrolly provides farmers with a bevy of information about weather patterns and crop characteristics, giving them advice on what would be the best thing to plant during certain times of the year. The platform also has ways for farmers to connect with experts as well as ways for them to share information and tools with each other.

During the virtual “2020 Call for Code Awards: A Global Celebration of Tech for Good” event, Agrolly was announced as the winner of the annual competition, which brings together the world’s brightest minds to create solutions to pertinent problems. This year’s task was to develop solutions to problems related to climate change and COVID-19.

“Climate change is making it worse for farmers in developing countries and they are losing yield production because of the changes. When you come to emerging markets and you look at these farmers, they don’t have the resources, they don’t know what to plant, they don’t know what the weather will be, and they don’t have advantages,” said Manoela Morais, CEO of Agrolly.

SEE: Big data’s role in COVID-19 (free PDF) (TechRepublic)

“We want to change the farming industry in the long run by listening to these small farmers in emerging markets, giving them a voice, and empowering them with the latest tech available. We wanted to create an ecosystem where they can contact each other, solve their problems and build a system that is better in the

08
Oct
2020
Posted in technology

IBM’s Spinoff and Restructuring Plans Look Like Steps in the Right Direction

As a long-time critic of the company, I’ll be the first to say that IBM (IBM) still faces its share of competitive and secular pressures. But the planned spinoff of Big Blue’s managed IT infrastructure services business is encouraging news.

First, the managed infrastructure business — though said by IBM to have a $60 billion-plus backlog and more than twice the scale of its nearest rival — is clearly struggling. IBM’s “infrastructure & cloud services” revenue, which is reported within its Global Technology Services (GTS) segment, was down 7% annually in Q2, 6% in Q1 and 5% in Q4. And this is in spite of the fact that this revenue also covers the IBM Cloud public cloud services unit, which appears to be growing.

Secular headwinds — specifically, the adoption of cloud infrastructure platforms much larger than IBM’s, such as AWS and Microsoft Azure — are clearly a factor here. But growth comparisons suggest GTS has also been losing share to rivals such as Accenture (ACN) and Wipro (WIT) . A spinoff that leaves IBM’s managed infrastructure business in the hands of a management team that’s focused solely on running that business just might help turn things around.

Meanwhile, shedding the managed infrastructure business allows new CEO Arvind Krishna and other IBM execs to direct more of their attention towards value-added software, hardware and services offerings. And from the looks of things, that’s what they generally want to do.


Quite a few IBM businesses are seeing revenue declines right now. Source: IBM.

To be sure, the IBM press release announcing the spinoff still contains a lot of the usual Big Blue marketing-speak. Though IBM might now claim to be focused on “its open hybrid cloud platform and AI capabilities,” many of the businesses that aren’t being spun off have nothing