IBM boosts Munich Watson IoT operations, hits 6,000 customer mark

IBM said it is adding collaboration centers to its Munich Watson IoT headquarters and landed industrial giant Schaeffler as a customer.

IBM said it will invest $200 million in building out its Watson Internet of things headquarters in Munich as it adds collaboration centers with clients.

Big Blue the $200 million is part of its overall $3 billion investment in IoT, but the move highlights a focus on Europe. Microsoft said earlier Monday that it will build an Azure center in France.

According to IBM, the Munich investment is due to growing demand. IBM said it has 6,000 Watson IoT clients, up from 4,000 8 months ago.

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As for the collaboration centers, IBM's Munich hub will work with Watson IoT and customers in various industries to apply new concepts. Harriet Green, head of IBM Watson IoT, said in a recent interview that Munich is a central location to the U.S. and Asia. The area is also a good talent hub for what Green calls industry 4.0.

Meanwhile, IBM said it added Schaeffler, a German auto and industrial supplier, as a customer in a multi-year arrangement to digital transform its business and deploy cognitive tools from its base of sensors.

The Schaeffler deal revolves around optimizing wind energy with machine learning, monitoring and optimizing trains and connected vehicles and their components.

Thomas Jefferson University Hospital, a Philadelphia-based hospital, is working with IBM to create Watson IoT-powered hospital rooms to enhance outcomes and patient experiences.

IBM also said it has launched new Watson IoT tools for developers, natural language interfaces, security services and Blockchain as it applies to the Internet of things.

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