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Perficient Shares Experiences at World of Watson Opening Panel

Today kicks off World of Watson 2016, the latest evolution of IBM’s premier data and analytics conference. During the opening session for the partner summit, Perficient was asked to share our experiences with the Watson portfolio, since we were one of the first participants in the partner ecosystem for Watson. Christine Livingston, Perficient’s Watson Practice Director, discussed our strategy and impressions with Stephen Gold, Watson Group CMO.


Stephen: You work with all of IBM’s software.  Why did you make the decision to heavily invest resources in Watson and why now? 

Christine: We’ve followed the technology for several years now, and we started out evangelizing and educating our customers on what Watson was and what it could do. Over the last couple of years we’ve seen new titles like Chief Innovation Officer and Digital Transformation Director becoming more prominent. As those roles have emerged and evolved we now see that our customers are coming to us, asking how they can apply their ideas for Watson and how they can get started. They’re very excited about the art of the possible and the conversation is no longer about us educating our customers, but rather about working with our customers to help them get started on their journeys.

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Stephen: It’s certainly exciting that customers are now coming out and asking about the technology. But part of that success is the ability for Perficient to educate and articulate to the customer what exactly cognitive is and what Watson does. Tell us a little about what it took to spin up a staff of about 30 people dedicated to Watson. What was it like for them as individuals?

Christine: It’s definitely been a journey for that team as well. We’ve looked to find people that were dedicated and interested in learning new and emerging technologies. Developers are typically very excited to stay on top of the curve and learn what’s new, what’s next and what’s coming, so we looked for that type of person – someone interested in emerging technology and how cognitive can be applied to situations.

Stephen: Can you share an example of when you’ve worked with an industry or client on a cognitive journey?

Christine: Healthcare is probably one of my personal favorites. We’ve seen a lot of our customers challenged in the post-Affordable Care Act landscape to make demonstrable, evidence-based decisions to improve patient care and engagement all while the amount of data that they have accessible and available is growing tremendously. So it’s been a very interesting experience to work with those companies and customers to understand the art of the possible – how Watson can help drive these massive corporate initiatives, how it can help engage patients in new ways, and to explore their journey to a cognitive business. It’s definitely a journey, it’s not a one stop implementation. And it’s been very exciting to work with our customers and help them understand how to execute on bite sized investments, so they can ultimately achieve that grand vision of the Watson platform.

Stephen: For people interested in starting on their cognitive journey, what would you share with them on lessons learned or best practices?

Christine: Watson drives a unique value proposition and it transcends corporate initiatives. I think it’s important to understand what that value proposition really is. Sometimes it’s hard to measure and quantify the value of interacting with data on human terms, but we found that it’s critical to the success of your project to make sure that the value is measurable and demonstrable, and that outcomes can be tied back to Watson. Our customer’s success is ultimately our success, so we find that to be the key piece in our Watson implementations.


To find out more information on how Perficient is helping organizations realize the art of possible with Watson and IBM Analytics, or to meet with Christine to continue this conversation, stop by booth 824 in the Cognitive Concourse this week.

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Stephanie Banks

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