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IBM to invest $3bn in 'Internet of Things' unit

Investment will mean partnerships with companies wanting to make sense of real-time data

IBM to invest $3bn in 'Internet of Things' unit
Insurance companies could send messages to policyholders in certain areas when hailstorms are approaching and tell them safe places to park.

International Business Machines Corp said on Tuesday it will invest $3bn over the next four years in a new 'Internet of Things' unit, Reuters reported.

Aiming to sell its expertise in gathering and making sense of the surge in real-time data, IBM said a unit of the Weather Co will move its weather data services onto IBM's cloud as its first major partnership, so that customers can use the data in tandem with IBM's analytics tools.

According to Reuters, IBM is hoping that companies will be able to combine live weather forecasting with a range of business data, so companies can quickly adapt to customer buying patterns or supply chain issues connected to the weather.

For example, insurance companies could send messages to policyholders in certain areas when hailstorms are approaching and tell them safe places to park, saving money all round.

Or retail stores could compare weather forecasts with past data to predict surges or drop-offs in customer buying due to extreme weather, and to adjust staffing and supply chain logistics accordingly.

IBM said it was already working with some large companies, such as German tire maker Continental AG and jet engine maker Pratt & Whitney to help them use data in their processes.

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