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IBM-Anthem Deal Is All About the Digital Transformation


Data and AI are at the heart of the latest partnership for a very busy IBM.

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IBM has been on a roll lately, striking deals with government agencies and leading businesses across the world and in nearly every imaginable sector. This trend, of course, has also encompassed healthcare, where IBM is focusing on some of the hottest high-tech solutions for some of the world’s most pressing problems. (And that is in spite of the blistering news yesterday that IBM Watson had recommended potentially harmful cancer treatments, a problem the company claimed it has since fixed.)

So, in keeping with the pace, IBM today announced an extended deal with health plan aficionado Anthem, which serves almost 40 million people. The agreement charges IBM with providing services related to Anthem’s mainframe, data center server and storage infrastructure management.

>> READ: VA, IBM Watson Health Continue High-Tech Cancer Partnership

Further, the two organizations will work toward “creating an artificial intelligence (AI) environment which will allow for an automated infrastructure providing 24/7 digital capabilities” to better serve Anthem customers, healthcare providers and internal employees, according to the announcement.

“Our continued strategic partnership with IBM will help establish a stronger foundation for Anthem to respond to the changing demands in the market, deliver greater quality of services for consumers and help accelerate Anthem’s focus on leading the transformation of healthcare to create a more accessible, more affordable, more accountable healthcare system for all Americans,” Anthem’s chief information officer and senior vice president, Tim Skeen, said in a statement.

This continues a tech-driven relationship that began in 2015 and has since yielded more than 130 bots and automated more than 70 percent of “high-volume repetitive tasks.” IBM said the bots can shift work away from servers nearing capacity, maintaining productive workflow, freeing up internal resources and improving systems availability.

IBM’s Global Technology Services senior vice president, Martin Jetter, said the partnership will expand upon that foundation.

“Our latest agreement will accelerate Anthem’s growth strategy and continued leadership as one of the largest healthcare insurance companies and provide a solid path to bringing new efficiencies in driving digital transformation,” he said.

Of course, the move also accelerates IBM’s standing in the business world. Upon news of this deal and a partnership with an overseas bank, the company’s stock jumped this morning.

Over the past month, IBM has announced new deals or expansions with organizations like the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, Scholastic, Edmodo, CNH Industrial, Columbia University and even a financial services provider called Stronghold, who launched a cryptocurrency pegged to the dollar.

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