About Bob Balfe

Distinguished engineer, Strategy and Offering Management, Watson Customer Engagement, IBM.

Book Review: multipliers – how the best leaders make everyone smarter

This was an excellent book from the beginning to end. The book introduces the concept of multipliers and diminishers. It also does a great job providing many examples of both. By the end, you realize there are characteristics of both diminisher and multiplier within you, however, we all try to be multipliers to some extent because we want our teams to succeed with us. I especially liked the aspect as described in the book that sometimes you have to be a diminisher – sometimes the performance is so bad the team needs to be reset, ego’s are too high and production now suffers from too many “pre-madonna’s”.  In the end, you have to realize you have smart people working for you and challenge them. Give them responsibility, give them a challenge, and most of all, allow them to grow!

It doesn’t make sense to hire smart people and tell them what to do; we hire smart people so they can tell us what to do – Steve Jobs

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Come join us! Register now for Modernization of DX and Portals with IBM

IBM is hosting our inaugural IBM®Digital Experience technical learning event —IBM DX Lab Days in Raleigh, NC on November 12th and 13th with clients and business partners. This complimentary event has a technical focus on development, implementation and strategies critical to modernizing digital properties. Don’t miss out on this opportunity! Click here to register.

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IBM Partners: Learn to deploy WebSphere Commerce v9 today!

This course provides the foundation knowledge required for deploying a production IBM WebSphere Commerce (WSC) Version 9 environment. Those who take this course will understand the deployment architecture, how WSC Version 9 Dockers are deployed and will be able to take part in project delivery that includes deployment of WebSphere Commerce Version 9.

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Start this course

New course available: Headless Commerce for IBM Digital Commerce – Developer

A new course has been published for business partners to learn how to use the IBM Digital Commerce API’s to create a single page stand-alone (headless) store front using Angular.

This course contains 9 modules that cover the following topics:

1.  Setting up your Headless Commerce Project

2.  Authentication

3.  Creating a Menu

4.  Category Details

5.  Product Details

6.  Create Assessment Questions

7.  Compose Course Description

8.  Finalize Provisioning Process

9.  Onboard in Learning Portal

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Guess who boosted in store foot traffic by 31% with IBM’s Watson?

Everyone loves to hear about solid returns when using new technology. The sandwich chain, Subway, is more than hitting its advertising mark by including weather patterns in its arsenal of data to pin point targeted ads to its customers.

The Subway sandwich chain boosted store traffic 31% by changing its ads to correspond with weather shifts. The company used artificial intelligence (AI) technology developed by International Business Machines called Weatherfx Footfall with Watson, a real-time signal-based targeting tool, to create dynamic ads for a foot-long sandwich promotion based on weather patterns, per an announcement. – link

Subway also saw a 53% reduction in campaign waste by having a more targeted approach using this method.

Two out of five (41%) CMOs surveyed by IBM said cognitive computing is going to have a huge effect on their companies in the next three to five years, behind cloud computing (59%), mobile solutions (64%) and Internet of Things (62%). – link

To make sense of such vast swaths of data, the solution uses AI—including machine learning and advanced cognitive computing—not only to ingest and interpret this information, but also to enable these triggers to continuously self-adjust as weather conditions change (link).

Check out the full article on Mobile Marketer.

Book Review: 101 Secrets of Highly Effective Speakers

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Lot’s of great tips in this little gem. Easy to follow along and I really liked the ideas for opening and closing your presentations. I have never been a “script” speaker and I try to learn and understand what I am speaking about as best I can so the pitch comes off as natural as possible. This book gave me a few more great tips I will be sure to include in my next presentation.

Snapchat lets you take a photo of an item and then buy it from Amazon

Three days after my 2019 predictions and Snapchat announces you can now find items in your videos and photos on Amazon and purchase them.  It has already begun! Read more about this on TechCrunch and the project code named “Eagle”.