Smart commerce, smart ports


2 September 2015
Launch of IBM Smarter Commerce Centre of Competency

IBM has announced two tie-ups with Singapore public agencies in just over two weeks, the latest being the launch of the IBM Smarter Commerce Centre of Competency (SCCOC) together with the country’s Economic Development Board on 2 September.

On the SCCOC’s agenda is the development of commerce products and solutions that make use of real-time analytics and connect the silos of procurement, marketing, selling and fulfilment with the aim of delivering personalised experiences to the customer. According to yStats, Asia-Pacific is one of the world's fastest-growing markets for e-commerce, which is forecasted to grow from $567.3 billion at a forecasted annual growth rate of 20 per cent between 2013 and 2018, owing to the large population base and high internet and mobile penetration rate in this part of the world.

IBM will lead the development of Commerce Proof of Concepts across diverse industries, which will include selected functionalities of customer analytics, automated campaign management, omni-channel marketing, digital marketing optimisation, Watson engagement advisor, real time personalisation, distributed order management, and predictive analytics for supply chain and risk management.

Through the SCCOC, IBM and EDB will also team up with industry associations such as the Singapore infocomm Technology Federation (SiTF) and the Marketing Institute of Singapore (MIS) to reach out to marketing professionals through events and seminars on how they can leverage technology to transform the way they work. Industry leaders such as OCBC Bank and StarHub will also be brought onboard to help identify industry challenges that the SCCOC can aim to address with Commerce Proof of Concepts. The Centre will also groom Singaporeans in software development and analytics.

Relieving traffic congestion at the port

On 17 August, IBM announced a partnership with the Maritime and Port Authority of Singapore (MPA) to develop and test-bed new analytics-based technologies, aimed at improving maritime and port operations to cater to increasing growth in vessel traffic in Singapore. The Memorandum of Understanding was signed at the launch of the National Maritime Safety at Sea Council event.

Singapore is one of the busiest ports in the world. Every year, there are about 130,000 vessel calls, which means there is a vessel arriving or leaving Singapore every two to three minutes. The research collaboration between IBM and MPA will serve to ease potential traffic congestion and elevate safety standards, securing Singapore’s position as a global hub port and a leading international maritime centre. 

As part of the two-year agreement, IBM will create a unified platform to integrate real time data and provide a consistent view of data points across MPA to empower port operators to make more informed decisions. For example, with vessel positional and weather data, the platform will report on any vessel path inferences to avoid accidents.

Using the IBM Traffic Prediction Tool, predictive analytics will be applied to forecast vessel arrival timings and potential traffic congestion. The partnership will also uncover new methods for sense-making and aid in event monitoring to detect unusual behavior of vessels and prevent illegal bunkering through fusion analytics, anomaly detection and data mining, leveraging the IBM Incident Detection Module and IBM System G. These digital capabilities are intended to improve port security and safety.