If you don't like what IBM is pitching, blame Watson: It's generating sales 'solutions' now

'Cognitive solutioning' kicks in when you ask Big Blue to solve tricky problems

Exclusive IBM is not just telling the world it needs "cognitive" computing: the company has bet the future of its own services business on Watson-branded services.

Internal documents seen by The Register reveal the tech goliath has developed something it calls "cognitive solutioning," to be deployed when Big Blue is asked to do a job that can't easily be scoped from its service catalogue.

"We've trained Watson on our standard solutions and offerings, plus all the prior solutions IBM has designed for large enterprises," the corporate files state. "This means we can review a client's RFP [request for proposal] and come up with a new proposed architecture and technical solution design for a state of the art system that can run enterprise businesses at scale." Proposed solutions will be delivered "in minutes," it is claimed.

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One document, which explains "cognitive solutioning" to IBM's staff, says Big Blue has big plans for the Watson-fuelled service in 2018 and expects it to soon enable "real-time co-creation of solutions with clients" and do so at such speed that IBM services gains an advantage over its rivals.

A roadmap for the service calls for a "cognitive solutions designer" to be hard at work in the second half of 2018, fuelled by 10,000 knowledge base articles.

IBM is not leaving all the work to Watson: a document we've seen also details "strong governance processes to ensure high quality solutions are delivered globally."

Big Blue's explanation for cognitive, er, solutioning's role is that it will be "greatly aiding the work of the Technical Solutions Managers" rather than replacing them.

Whatever Watson comes up with, it surely can't be worse the human-created bad security advice that crashed Australia's online census or IBM's naïve decision to give its cloudy customers just a week to move on to life without TLS 1.0.

Another thing to be thankful for: "cognitive solutioning" is slightly less horrible language than IBM's rationale for rationalising its services operations, which it justified on grounds that "in the era of the cognitive enterprise, when business and technology architectures are merging, our clients understand their success depends largely on how well they capitalize on exponential intelligence fueled by pervasive technologies." ®

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