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Watson is IBM’s artificial intelligence (AI) moonshot. Five years in, IBM has put in place the building blocks for cognitive services such as speech, language, vision, conversation, discovery, and context services. An ecosystem is starting to emerge.


  • In this report, Ovum provides a snapshot of IBM's progress in building Watson as a business at the five-year mark.

Features and Benefits

  • Examines what cognitive computing is and its place in the world of machine learning and artificial intelligence.
  • Provides competitive analysis of IBM's cognitive computing portfolio.

Key questions answered

  • What is the breadth and depth of IBM's cognitive computing product and services portfolio?
  • What should enterprises expect from cognitive computing solutions?
  • How do cognitive computing solutions differ from traditional enterprise applications?
  • How does IBM's cognitive computing portfolio compare to cloud-based AI and deep learning services from Amazon Web Services, Microsoft Azure, and Google Cloud Platform?

Table of contents


  • Catalyst
  • Ovum view
  • Key messages


  • Recommendations for enterprises
  • Recommendations for vendors

Where Watson fits in the AI wave

  • Watson is IBM's AI moonshot
  • The AI landscape

IBM's Watson ecosystem approach

  • Not solutions in the conventional approach
  • Industry focus
  • Horizontal Watson services
  • Third-party API ecosystem

IBM's cognitive pitch to bootstrappers

  • Making data science a team sport
  • Watson Data Platform
  • Watson Data Platform should become a springboard


  • Methodology
  • Further reading
  • Author

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