In a good sign for Ginny Rometty, IBM and Twitter already have 100 customers from their important new partnership

IBM CEO Ginni RomettyIBMIBM CEO Ginni Rometty

The tool IBM developed with Twitter is officially open for business today, and IBM announced it’s already being used by 100 companies who have been testing it.

IBM and Twitter announced their big partnership in October. They are writing enterprise apps that helps companies use tweets to help them better understand their customers, predict business trends, and uncover other useful insights.

While there are countless Twitter analytics and sentiment tools already out there (including one that IBM has sold for years), this partnership is a bit different.

Twitter data is now being added directly into IBM’s big data analytics cloud like Watson Analytics. Plus, tweets have been added as a service to IBM’s cloud that hosts apps (called BlueMix) so developers can write apps that use tweets or rely on an analysis of tweets.

IBM is also developing such apps itself and is hoping companies will hire it to write custom apps. In October, it promised to train 10,000 consultants to write tweet-related business apps, and as of Tuesday, had 4,000 of them ready to go, it says.

This new partnership with Twitter is crucial one for the company, along with its big partnership with Apple. Such deals are how IBM CEO Ginni Rometty is trying to turn IBM around and get back to growth.

Last months, she vowed to invest $US4 billion into growth areas like cloud, social, mobile and analytics, and to grow these businesses from $US25 billion in revenue last year (27% of of the company’s revenue) to $US40 billion in by 2018, or about promised 40% of revenue.

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