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Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Global Food Supply Chain Improvement and Protection

I just got a chance to interview N2N Global.  A business intelligence and analytics provider for food supply chains.   Aimed at Food Safety, Quality Assurance and supply and product traceability systems. Their CEO Ernesto Nardone is a former IBMer who worked in the area of using expertise-based systems that led to some of IBM's recent AI applications like Watson.

N2N is using IBM's Cognos to do Business intelligence and related basic analytics to utilize the huge amounts of data, millions of records per month, for the Food Coop Cherry Central.   Cherry Central has a space on Facebook which succinctly describes the work done.   See also this press release for more detail, which emphasizes how this relates to consumer food safety.

In particular I was interested in how this data can be connected to the decision process.  They are doing this now by looking at outlier analysis, reporting and alerting.  A likely good next step is to include process models that specify set of rules based on the knowledge of food experts, and also including quantitative analytical processes that can find patterns, predictively forecast future situations and bring together this intelligence to make next steps safer and more efficient.  Bring on the tool set to make this happen.  That leads to smarter commerce.

Cherry Central and N2N won IBM's Engine of the Week for midsize businesses.    A part of the Midmarket initiative. " ..... This honor is given to midsize businesses that have transformed themselves using insight and IBM technology.... " .  Their transformation has started with the automating the large amount of paper that was once needed to run any complex business, large or small.  It will be instructive to continue to follow their effort as food knowledge is included to make the enterprise truly intelligent.

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