IBM steals a high-profile customer from Amazon's cloud

Texas tornadoWikimedia CommonsA tornado in Texas — the kind of catastrophic weather event that IBM customers may now be able to plan for better.

Fast on the heels of its deal with Twitter, IBM has signed another interesting partner in its quest to help companies make sense of massive amounts of data: The Weather Company (parent company of the Weather Channel).

As part of the deal, the company will move from Amazon Web Services to IBM’s cloud.

In addition to being a nice win for IBM’s cloud over the current industry leader, the deal will let customers who use IBM’s analytics tools important weather data so they can plan for storms and other disasters.

For instance, automobile insurers could use the service to tell policy holders to move their cars before a hailstorm happens; hail damage can cause an average of $US25 of damage per policy holder per year in hail-prone areas, says IBM.

WSI — the business-to-business branch of The Weather Company — collects information from more than 2 billion sensors and other data points worldwide to generate more than 26 billion forecasts a day. This information will now be fed into analytics platforms like Watson Analytics.

IBM has been striking a lot of interesting partnerships with consumer tech companies over the last year, including with Twitter and Apple, where it’s teamed up to build dedicated line-of-business apps for the iPhone and iPad. The deals are part of CEO Ginni Rometty’s plan to get IBM out of a two-year slide in its revenues and stock price.

Disclosure: Jeff Bezos is an investor in Business Insider through hispersonal investment company Bezos Expeditions.

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