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Friday, April 13, 2018

Blockchain and the Supply Chain

Another example of the technology.   Similar it seems to what Wal-Mart has been experimenting with.  Still don't don't see why this is necessarily better than a well designed database, notably the speed aspect.

IBM Watson with blockchain boost adds visibility to supply chain disruptions  By Mark Albertson in SiliconAngle   ....A new, shared visibility ledger  Excerpt below with more detail at link.

" .... A key component of IBM’s focus involves its Supply Chain Business Network. This separate B2B connectivity offering has 6,000 clients, 400,000 trading partners and 8 million transaction documents per day, according to Suh. With that kind of engagement, it’s no surprise that IBM was interested in providing new technology solutions for its network of business clients.

The company took advantage of its conference in March to promote the benefits of a shared visibility ledger for its clients and partners in the Supply Chain Business Network. “We’re adding blockchain to that as a way to ensure transparency, as well as speed of operation,” Suh explained. “The shared ledger will allow you to see where in the process your transaction document is.”

IBM Watson enables “internet of things” devices to become active participants in transactions. The Watson platform processes and analyzes device-reported data or barcode-scan events. IoT-connected devices can talk with blockchain-based ledgers to validate smart contracts.

An example of this process in action can be found in the shipping industry. A.P. Moller–Maersk Group, one of the largest container ship operators in the world, recently formed a joint venture with IBM to digitize the global shipping ecosystem. Using the blockchain and Watson, the goal is seamless tracking of goods and shipments around the world, with updated paperwork in seconds instead of weeks.

“Small bits of optimization, meaning one percent improvement or resolving invoice and settlements, have such huge ripple effects downstream,” Suh said. “We’re excited because we’re now adding in not just AI capabilities, but also collaboration capabilities, which then allow groups of people to interact in-time and in-moment to address alternative decisions and routes.”

IBM’s application of cognitive processing to supply chain tracking is yet another example of the firm’s major bet on Watson. Suh’s organization is continually looking at new ways to integrate AI applications into business or consumer use cases. ... "

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