In a move aimed at reducing costs and “untangling the complexities” of today’s global supply chain, IBM is now offering an “integrated supply chain suite” embedded with its Watson AI and IBM Blockchain technologies.

The IBM Sterling Supply Chain Suite is designed “to help organizations make their supply chains smarter, more efficient and better able to make decisions to adjust to disruptions and opportunities in an era when globalization has made supplier networks more complex and vulnerable than ever.”

The new suite is also open to developers and includes IBM Sterling as well as the tech firm’s recently acquired Red Hat OpenShift tech platform. The suite allows developers to create “tailored solutions” while also enabling “clients to bring in third-party data, so that all connected applications and networks can benefit from it, IBM noted.

The technology suite will allow manufacturers, retailers and other types of businesses “to integrate critical data, business networks and supply chain processes while capitalizing on the benefits of technologies like Watson AI, IBM Blockchain and the Internet of Things,” IBM said in a statement, adding that these “intelligent, self-correcting supply chains are designed to learn from experience, creating greater reliability, transparency and security while providing new competitive advantages.”

Bob Lord, senior vice president of cognitive applications and developer ecosystems at IBM, sees the launch as empowering companies — across industries — to be more globally competitive.

“Supply chains are now mission-critical systems for all businesses to drive success and profitability,” he explained. “Many organizations have risen to the top of their industries by building efficient and agile supply chains. By modernizing supply chains on top of open, hybrid-cloud platforms and infusing Watson AI, IBM Blockchain and IoT into their networks, the IBM Sterling Supply Chain Suite can help companies across all industries enter a new era of global competitiveness.’’

Some of the companies using IBM Sterling include Adidas, Fossil, Home Depot, Li & Fung and Whirlpool Corp., as well as Madrid-based department store El Corte Inglés.

Juan Andres Pro Dios, chief information officer at El Corte Inglés, said the “complex, global nature of our omnichannel operations presents a significant supply chain challenge that could be turned into a business opportunity, if the right technology is applied.”

Pro Dios said IBM’s suite “provides open development capabilities that let us quickly tailor solutions to meet our unique business needs. This allows us to embrace operational complexity while optimizing operational performance and improving omnichannel customer experiences.”

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