International Business Machines Corp (NYSE:IBM) on Wednesday announced a partnership with Twitter (NYSE:TWTR) to help shape business decisions using data collected from tweets worldwide.
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IBM will help businesses predict trends in the marketplace and consumer sentiment about products and brands and will train 10,000 employees to consult businesses on the best use of Twitter data.
IBM chief executive Ginni Rometty has been trying to shift the 100-year-old company's focus away from commoditized hardware to higher-value cloud and data analytics products.
In July, IBM announced a partnership with Apple Inc (NASDAQ:AAPL) to offer iPads and iPhones loaded with applications geared toward enterprise clients.
"Here we are seeing an alignment of old tech and new tech companies. It is the second such deal that IBM has announced in the last couple months. They realize they don't have all the answers and a lot of other companies have asset offerings that can be matched well," said Scott Kessler, analyst at S&P Capital IQ in New York.
In April, Twitter acquired social data provider Gnip to burrow into the 500 million tweets sent daily on its network.
Enterprise clients will now be able to filter the data based on geography, public biographical information and the emotion expressed in the tweet.
The company previously allowed third-party companies such as Gnip, Datasift and Dataminr to buy access to tweets and re-sell that data to corporate clients.
Reuters' parent company, Thomson Reuters, also sells sentiment analysis of Twitter data, which monitors the emotional sentiment behind tweets toward topics and companies.
While other data analysis software for businesses exists, Twitter hopes the partnership with IBM's established businesses will draw in customers.
IBM plans to offer Twitter data as part of its analytics services delivered through cloud computing, including cognitive computing.
Software developers will also be able to use Twitter data in applications they are building using IBM's Bluemix and Watson Developer Cloud offering.
"Data is the phenomenon of our time," said IBM's Rometty.
"Twitter has created something extraordinary. When you bring this together with other kinds of information and leverage IBM's innovations in analytics, Watson and cloud, business decision-making will never be the same," she told an event announcing the launch.
"This is a huge milestone for Twitter," said Twitter CEO Dick Costolo, adding:
"IBM brings a unique ability to integrate complex systems and data to help clients make better business decisions."
IBM shares ended off 0.9 percent at $163.46 while Twitter shares dipped to close down 3.9 percent to $42.08.
(Reporting by Marina Lopes; Editing by Chizu Nomiyama and James Dalgleish)