Partner Ecosystem And AI Innovations: Dawn Herndon In Conversation With Dinis Guarda At IBM TechXchange Summit

Partner Ecosystem And AI Innovations: Dawn Herndon In Conversation With Dinis Guarda At IBM TechXchange Summit

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By Pallavi Singal

Dawn Herndon, VP of Build at IBM in EMEA, shares her insights and experiences on building and maintaining a robust partner ecosystem at IBM TechXchange Summit EMEA 2024 with Dinis Guarda. The conversation spans the intricacies of innovation and governance within the IBM’s Partner Plus program, and the advantages of AI, more specifically watsonx, for enterprises.

Partner Ecosystem And AI Innovations: Dawn Herndon In Conversation With Dinis Guarda At IBM TechXchange Summit

The partner ecosystem of IBM is a growth engine that can help IBM establish itself as a leader in technology innovation and implementation, while expanding the growth route for its partners at the same time. For IBM, the task involves coordinating business strategies and exploring opportunities within an ecosystem comprising industry frontrunners like Adobe, Celonis, Microsoft, Salesforce, SAP, and Workday.

Partnerships are necessary for us to drive innovation, find and provide benefits that support an organization in the way they grow their market share, and attract new customers. It is necessary not only to embed the technology but providing confidence and capability that they can leverage to drive the innovation.

IBM brings its products and technical expertise to the table for organizations to co-create and work together on addressing the business initiatives that they have”, says Dawn during an interview with Dinis Guarda at the IBM TechXchange EMEA 2024 Summit.

Additionally, she also explains that the collaboration extends to infrastructure organisations, such as Amazon Web Service (AWS), Microsoft Azure, and IBM's proprietary technologies.

Leading IBM’s build mission in EMEA, Dawn Herndon is focused on co-creating, recruiting, and go-to-market strategies with new Independent Software Vendors (ISVs) and startups. The go-to-market model of the ecosystem helps to streamline the way IBM partners and their customers Build, Service and Sell.

Building relationships is important to us because it gives us an understanding of how our partners go to market, and how they make money. Ecosystems are really valuable to an organisation, having multiple layers and aspects of different parties together to drive innovation for their particular product set and their employees and customers”, Dawn tells Dinis.

watsonx and AI: Technology partners for IBM

As the interview progressed, Dawn told Dinis that an array of AI technology leaders are leveraging the watsonx AI and data platform, which is supporting their efforts to address global challenges and create new business opportunities using AI.

IBM business partners are integrating watsonx into existing technology, extending capabilities, and accelerating customers' time-to-value. The platform, which is made up of watsonx.ai, watsonx.data, and watson.governance, serves as a nexus for collaboration, allowing partners to showcase their expertise and contribute to fearless innovation collectively. Together, all three components along with a set of AI assistants empower organisations to scale and accelerate the impact of AI.

The watsonx platform gives you the capability to tune these models and build them with confidence, security, and transparency, knowing where the data resides, how to track data, and how to accurately associate with that data so that you can incorporate it within your AI strategy”, she says.

The breadth of IBM’s partner ecosystem highlights its leadership in the AI innovation landscape and features a growing list of esteemed organisations. These business partners include Apache Cassandra, Apache Derby, Apache Hadoop, Apache Hive, Apache Kafka, AWS, Box, Chroma, Cirata (WANdisco), Cloudera, DataStax, Elastic, Hugging Face, Intel, LangChain, MariaDB, Meta, MongoDB, OData, Presto, SingleStore, and VMware. Each organisation brings unique capabilities to the watsonx platform, contributing to a diverse and powerful ecosystem.

These collaborations result in a comprehensive set of integrated solutions for watsonx users. For instance, the AWS and Red Hat collaboration enables the scaling of AI workloads quickly and responsibly. Box facilitates seamless content lifecycle management, while Hugging Face supports enterprises in building, deploying, and customising foundation models. Additionally, Intel and IBM optimise the watsonx.data stack for breakthrough performance.

AI governance and ethics in the partner ecosystem

AI is going to go through an evolutionary journey as we continue to release technology that makes it better than it is today”, says Dawn.

She explains that as AI becomes increasingly integrated into various aspects of society, establishing robust governance frameworks and ethical guidelines becomes imperative. Governance in AI involves defining clear roles, responsibilities, and decision-making processes to ensure accountability and oversight throughout the AI lifecycle. Ethical considerations encompass principles that prioritise fairness, transparency, accountability, and the avoidance of bias in AI systems.

The watsonx.governance framework provides organisations with tools to monitor and govern the complete AI lifecycle, automate risk management, detect bias, and ensure collaborative compliance.

What drives the organizations to come and work with IBM is our focus on trust and governance. The watsonx.governance model allows organizations and businesses to fine tune the framework to suit their own values and principles. This is what brings trust and transparency, while ensuring governance for them”, she says.

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