Exploring AI’s Transformative Potential: Key Takeaways from IBM Think 2024 

by Mark Martin
9 minutes read

Artificial Intelligence (AI) has undeniably taken center stage at numerous key technology conferences industry-wide. At IBM Think, the aim was to elevate this discourse, showcasing how AI can serve as a transformative force in addressing today’s most pressing business challenges.  

IBM Think serves as a collaborative platform for IBM’s clients and partners, fostering co-creation and innovation by harnessing the convergence of cutting-edge technologies. Hosted in Boston, IBM Think drew a diverse array of partners from across the globe.  

As a key partner, TD SYNNEX had a significant presence, with leaders and colleagues attending this prestigious event. We had the pleasure of experiencing captivating keynotes, immersive AI experiences, thought-provoking simulations, and extensive networking opportunities. 

One theme emerged loud and clear: our future is AI-driven. Here are some of our top takeaways on how AI has the power to scale and deliver impactful solutions. 

Integrating Hybrid Cloud, Data, AI, and Automation 

As company leaders accelerate efforts to harness AI’s potential for enhancing productivity and driving innovation, the focus is shifting from experimentation to comprehensive deployment across enterprises.  

Arvind Krishna, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer at IBM, led the opening keynote on “scaling your business with AI and hybrid cloud”. Krishna covered how this is a critical moment for the technology field. “When we look at the confluence of hybrid cloud, artificial intelligence, and quantum computing coming down the road, all of these technologies are reaching maturity that can really impact the business and really help the business improve.”  

Additionally, Krishna highlighted that the integration of these technologies can significantly boost productivity and deliver automation, infused with innovative touches that enable your business to scale in ways that were unimaginable just a few decades ago. 

To tackle the challenge of scaling, IBM introduced watsonx last year. But what exactly is watsonx? watsonx comprises of the following: 

  • AI Assistants (watsonx Assistant, watsonx Orcherstrate)  
  • watsonx Platform (watsonx.ai, watsonx.data, watsonx.governance)  
  • Data Fabric (Cloud Pak for Data)  
  • App Modernization (watsonx Code Assistant)  
  • IT Optimization (focused on Hybrid Cloud FinOps)  

As a business-centric AI and data platform, watsonx is designed to accelerate your AI deployment. This platform empowers you to experiment with models and integrate your own data – ultimately, a model is a direct reflection of the data it’s built on. Watsonx incorporates all your intellectual property with the backing of IBM’s unparalleled data governance and hosting flexibility. 

IBM is transforming to becoming a platform-focused company and its reflected in the exciting new watsonx capabilities released during IBM Think. In a press release, IBM released a family of Granite models into open source and launched InstructLab, a first-of-its-kind capability, in collaboration with Red Hat.  

As Krishna emphasized, embracing openness means embracing choice. For any technology to achieve rapid adoption and widespread use, it’s essential to balance competition, innovation, and safety. Open source is an excellent pathway to achieving this balance. 

Driving the new wave of AI innovation, there is immense potential to unlock an estimated $4 trillion in annual economic benefits across various industries. IBM believes that AI assistants can play a crucial role in addressing the skills gap, data complexity, and – perhaps most importantly – building trust in these transformative technologies. 

Leading the Way: AI Assistants in the Spotlight 

The spotlight on AI Assistants has been significant, recognizing their potential as essential tools for boosting business productivity. However, IBM aims to redefine AI assistants beyond their generic capabilities, pushing the boundaries of what’s possible to accelerate workplace operations. This innovative approach was a central theme during a keynote focused on scaling productivity with watsonx assistants. 

Kareem Yusuf, Senior Vice President, Product Management and Growth, IBM Software emphasized that AI assistants cater to our intrinsic need for communication and conversation in the workplace. “With intelligent automations, AI assistants also help us offload repetitive tasks, enable self-service work; and quite frankly, help us link work across multi-step and multi-processes.” 

Yusuf further underscored the importance of purpose-built, tailored AI assistants designed for specific use cases. These assistants must automate tasks to expedite work while integrating seamlessly into key operational environments. IBM’s meticulous approach has culminated in the creation of a new class of IBM watsonx assistants. These include capabilities within watsonx Orchestrate, empowering clients to build their own AI assistants across various domains, based on conversational AI and intelligent automations. 

We anticipate even more advancements in the near future from IBM in enhancing AI assistants and simplifying the applications of this pivotal technology. IBM’s steadfast commitment to client success mirrors the dedication we hold at TD SYNNEX, ensuring that our clients achieve meaningful outcomes with advanced AI solutions. 

How TD SYNNEX Is Leading AI Innovations with IBM 

Attending IBM Think is always a highlight for me. It was an incredible opportunity to reconnect with our trusted “IBMers” while delving into the exciting possibilities of AI. I’m eager to see how we will continue to innovate together, strengthening our core offerings to partners and shaping the future of technology. 

Recently, TD SYNNEX announced the launch of their IBM® watsonx™ Gold 100 program, whichaims to recruit 100 TD SYNNEX partners and equip them to achieve IBM’S Gold-tier partner status. Gold-tier partners will leverage IBM watsonx opportunities through a combination of IBM technology and TD SYNNEX value-add capabilities. 

During a few sessions, we explored how to blend watsonx into TD SYNNEX’s Destination AI program, and there will be more information on this soon. 

Together, TD SYNNEX and IBM are strategically positioned to empower partners in capitalizing on the substantial growth opportunities within AI, benefiting both you and your end customers.  

We encourage you to keep tabs on the latest news and information for the industry on the TD SYNNEX Newsroom, LinkedIn and Instagram

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