Call for Code Names Winner of 2020 Global Challenge and Announces New Initiative to Combat Racial Injustice

Agrolly selected for innovative solution to help small farmers as they struggle with effects of climate changeNew initiative enables global developers to leverage proven Call for Code platform to help combat systemic racism ARMONK, N.Y., Oct. 13, 2020 /PRNewswire/ — Where most people see challenges, developers see possibilities. That’s certainly been the case in 2020. Today, Call for Code founding partner IBM (NYSE: IBM) and its creator, David Clark Cause, announced the winner of the 2020 Call for Code Global Challenge. The top prize went to Agrolly, an application to help the world’s small farmers cope with the environmental and business challenges of climate change.   Call for Code also introduced a new initiative—Call for Code for Racial Justice—to urge its international community of hundreds of thousands of developers to contribute to solutions to confront racial inequalities. The announcements came during a virtual event, the “2020 Call for Code Awards: A Global Celebration of Tech for Good.” A full replay can be watched here. The 2020 Call for Code Global Challenge had asked developers to create solutions to help communities fight back against climate change and COVID-19. A panel of industry leaders and judges awarded Agrolly the grand prize while announcing four other winners—one that also created a response to climate change, and three others aimed at the global coronavirus pandemic. Agrolly will receive $200,000, support from IBM Service Corps and technical experts, and ecosystem partners to incubate, test and deploy their solution. Agrolly will also receive assistance from The Linux Foundation to open-source their application so developers across the world can improve and scale the technology. Call for Code unites hundreds of thousands of developers to create and deploy applications powered by open source technology that can tackle some of the world’s biggest challenges. Since its launch in 2018, this movement has grown to more than 400,000 developers and problem solvers across 179 nations, and has generated more than fifteen thousand solutions using technology including Red Hat OpenShift, IBM Cloud, IBM Watson, IBM Blockchain, data from The Weather Company, and APIs from ecosystem partners like HERE Technologies and IntelePeer. Top Solutions Tackling Effects of Climate Change and COVID-19 Agrolly was created by a distributed team of developers from Brazil, India, Mongolia and Taiwan who met at Pace University in New York City. Powered by IBM Cloud Object Storage, IBM Watson Studio, and IBM Watson Assistant, Agrolly aims to fill information gaps so farmers with limited resources can make more informed decisions, and obtain the necessary financing to help improve their economic outcomes. By combining weather forecasts from The Weather Company and historical data from NASA with crop requirements published by the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization, Agrolly’s platform provides tailored information for each farmer by location, crop type and even the plants’ stage of development during the growing season. The Agrolly team, as part of their response to the Call for Code Challenge, has made the solution available as an app in the Google store, free of charge. Another climate change solution, OffShip, received fifth place and was awarded $10,000. Three COVID-19 solutions were also honored. Second place went to Business Buddy, which will receive $25,000. Safe Queue was given third place and $25,000; SchoolListIt was awarded fourth place and $10,000. Safe Queue, an app that enables a safer way to manage entry during COVID-19 at shopping centers, small businesses, and polling places by replacing physical lines with on-demand virtual lines, had been recognized in early May as one of the top solutions in the Call for Code accelerated COVID-19 track. Since May, IBM specialists and partners have worked to further incubate, test, and deploy Safe Queue’s solution with organizations across the country. “All of the submissions in this year’s global challenge clearly show the immense potential of technologies based on hybrid cloud, AI and open source to address critical issues like climate change, COVID-19 and more,” said Bob Lord, Senior Vice President, Cognitive Applications and Ecosystems, IBM. “We know the developer community has the skills, desire and ingenuity to tackle the world’s thorniest issues. What we’re providing through Call for Code is a catalyst to galvanize that community to take on specific societal challenges, as well as the open source-powered products and technologies to bring their vision to reality. Through this powerful combination, brilliant ideas like Agrolly can be transformed into the scalable solutions the world needs today.” Winners in the University Category Chelsea Clinton, Vice Chair, Clinton Foundation, announced the inaugural winner of the Call for Code University Edition, a collaboration between IBM and the Clinton Global Initiative University. Pandemap, created by a team of students from UC Berkeley to monitor and manage crowd flow and promote social distancing during COVID-19 will receive $10,000. Lupe, created by university students in the United Kingdom, was named runner-up. Team members from Pandemap and Lupe also receive the opportunity to interview for a potential role at IBM. “Now, more than ever, the scope and urgency of the issues we’re encountering demand diverse perspectives and expertise and we’re proud to partner with IBM for the second year to advance university efforts that are committed to doing just that,” Clinton said. “Reaching over 53,000 students from more than 45 nations in 2020, we saw a tremendous and inspiring movement of young people, investing their time and talent during Call for Code. The passion, collaboration and innovation of our students is what will help unite and propel our society forward.” Advancing Racial Justice The announcement of Call for Code for Racial Justice follows three years of successful global programs addressing natural disasters, climate change and COVID-19. Call for Code for Racial Justice encourages the adoption and innovation of open source projects to drive progress in three key areas of focus: Police & Judicial Reform and Accountability; Diverse Representation; and Policy & Legislation Reform. Together with partners like Black Girls Code, Collab Capital, Dream Corps, The United Way Worldwide, American Airlines, Cloud Native Computing Foundation and Red Hat, Call for Code for Racial Justice is inviting developers to apply their skills and ingenuity to combat systemic racism. The tragic deaths of George Floyd, Amaud Arbery, Breonna Taylor, and many others, serve as a reminder that silent carriers help spread racism, and the fight against it is as urgent as ever. The new initiative began with Black IBMers and allies taking action with an internal IBM program called the Call for Code Emb(race) Challenge. Solutions created and developed through that program are now being opened to the world to build upon through Call for Code for Racial Justice.   “Black Girls Code was created to introduce programming and technology to a new generation of coders, and we believe that a new generation of coders will shape our futures,” said Anesha Grant, Director of Alumnae and Educational Programs, Black Girls Code. “We’re excited to participate in Call for Code for Racial Justice and to spark meaningful change.” Call for Code for Racial Justice is planned for launch at the virtual All Things Open on October 19. “Each year I’m amazed by how this global community of developers comes together to help solve some of the world’s most pressing issues, and this year is no different,” said Call for Code creator David Clark. “Through the support of UN Human Rights, IBM, The Linux Foundation, the Call for Code ecosystem, world leaders, tech icons, celebrities, and the amazing developers that drive innovation, Call for Code has become the defining tech for good platform the world turns to for results.” About Call for Code Global Challenge Developers have revolutionized the way people live and interact with virtually everyone and everything. Where most people see challenges, developers see possibilities. That’s why David Clark, the CEO of David Clark Cause, created Call for Code in 2018, and launched it alongside Founding Partner IBM and their partner UN Human rights. This five-year, $30 million global initiative is a rallying cry to developers to use their mastery of the latest technologies to drive positive and long-lasting change across the world through code. The Call for Code community includes United Nations Human Rights, The Linux Foundation, United Nations Office for Disaster Risk Reduction, Clinton Foundation and Clinton Global Initiative University, Cloud Native Computing Foundation, Verizon, Persistent Systems, Arrow Electronics, HERE Technologies, Ingram Micro, IntelePeer, Consumer Technology Association Foundation, World Bank, Caribbean Girls Hack, Kode With Klossy, World Institute on Disability, and many more. Call for Code global winning solutions are further developed, incubated, and deployed as sustainable open source projects to ensure they can drive positive change. Media Contact:Deirdre Leahy(845) 863-4552deirdre.leahy@ibm.com SOURCE IBM

Agrolly selected for innovative solution to help small farmers as they struggle with effects of climate change

New initiative enables global developers to leverage proven Call for Code platform to help combat systemic racism

ARMONK, N.Y., Oct. 13, 2020 /PRNewswire/ — Where most people see challenges, developers see possibilities. That’s certainly been the case in 2020. Today, Call for Code founding partner IBM (NYSE: IBM) and its creator, David Clark Cause, announced the winner of the 2020 Call for Code Global Challenge. The top prize went to Agrolly, an application to help the world’s small farmers cope with the environmental and business challenges of climate change.

Call for Code also introduced a new initiative—Call for Code for Racial Justice—to urge its international community of hundreds of thousands of developers to contribute to solutions to confront racial inequalities.

The announcements came during a virtual event, the “2020 Call for Code Awards: A Global Celebration of Tech for Good.” A full replay can be watched here.

The 2020 Call for Code Global Challenge had asked developers to create solutions to help communities fight back against climate change and COVID-19. A panel of industry leaders and judges awarded Agrolly the grand prize while announcing four other winners—one that also created a response to climate change, and three others aimed at the global coronavirus pandemic.

Agrolly will receive $200,000, support from IBM Service Corps and technical experts, and ecosystem partners to incubate, test and deploy their solution. Agrolly will also receive assistance from The Linux Foundation to open-source their application so developers across the world can improve and scale the technology.

Call for Code unites hundreds of thousands of developers to create and deploy applications powered by open source technology that can tackle some of the world’s biggest challenges. Since its launch in 2018, this movement has grown to more than 400,000 developers and problem solvers across 179 nations, and has generated more than fifteen thousand solutions using technology including Red Hat OpenShift, IBM Cloud, IBM Watson, IBM Blockchain, data from The Weather Company, and APIs from ecosystem partners like HERE Technologies and IntelePeer.

Top Solutions Tackling Effects of Climate Change and COVID-19

Agrolly was created by a distributed team of developers from Brazil, India, Mongolia and Taiwan who met at Pace University in New York City. Powered by IBM Cloud Object Storage, IBM Watson Studio, and IBM Watson Assistant, Agrolly aims to fill information gaps so farmers with limited resources can make more informed decisions, and obtain the necessary financing to help improve their economic outcomes.

By combining weather forecasts from The Weather Company and historical data from NASA with crop requirements published by the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization, Agrolly’s platform provides tailored information for each farmer by location, crop type and even the plants’ stage of development during the growing season. The Agrolly team, as part of their response to the Call for Code Challenge, has made the solution available as an app in the Google store, free of charge.

Another climate change solution, OffShip, received fifth place and was awarded $10,000.

Three COVID-19 solutions were also honored. Second place went to Business Buddy, which will receive $25,000. Safe Queue was given third place and $25,000; SchoolListIt was awarded fourth place and $10,000.

Safe Queue, an app that enables a safer way to manage entry during COVID-19 at shopping centers, small businesses, and polling places by replacing physical lines with on-demand virtual lines, had been recognized in early May as one of the top solutions in the Call for Code accelerated COVID-19 track. Since May, IBM specialists and partners have worked to further incubate, test, and deploy Safe Queue’s solution with organizations across the country.

“All of the submissions in this year’s global challenge clearly show the immense potential of technologies based on hybrid cloud, AI and open source to address critical issues like climate change, COVID-19 and more,” said Bob Lord, Senior Vice President, Cognitive Applications and Ecosystems, IBM. “We know the developer community has the skills, desire and ingenuity to tackle the world’s thorniest issues. What we’re providing through Call for Code is a catalyst to galvanize that community to take on specific societal challenges, as well as the open source-powered products and technologies to bring their vision to reality. Through this powerful combination, brilliant ideas like Agrolly can be transformed into the scalable solutions the world needs today.”

Winners in the University Category

Chelsea Clinton, Vice Chair, Clinton Foundation, announced the inaugural winner of the Call for Code University Edition, a collaboration between IBM and the Clinton Global Initiative University.

Pandemap, created by a team of students from UC Berkeley to monitor and manage crowd flow and promote social distancing during COVID-19 will receive $10,000. Lupe, created by university students in the United Kingdom, was named runner-up. Team members from Pandemap and Lupe also receive the opportunity to interview for a potential role at IBM.

“Now, more than ever, the scope and urgency of the issues we’re encountering demand diverse perspectives and expertise and we’re proud to partner with IBM for the second year to advance university efforts that are committed to doing just that,” Clinton said. “Reaching over 53,000 students from more than 45 nations in 2020, we saw a tremendous and inspiring movement of young people, investing their time and talent during Call for Code. The passion, collaboration and innovation of our students is what will help unite and propel our society forward.”

Advancing Racial Justice

The announcement of Call for Code for Racial Justice follows three years of successful global programs addressing natural disasters, climate change and COVID-19. Call for Code for Racial Justice encourages the adoption and innovation of open source projects to drive progress in three key areas of focus: Police & Judicial Reform and Accountability; Diverse Representation; and Policy & Legislation Reform.

Together with partners like Black Girls Code, Collab Capital, Dream Corps, The United Way Worldwide, American Airlines, Cloud Native Computing Foundation and Red Hat, Call for Code for Racial Justice is inviting developers to apply their skills and ingenuity to combat systemic racism.

The tragic deaths of George Floyd, Amaud Arbery, Breonna Taylor, and many others, serve as a reminder that silent carriers help spread racism, and the fight against it is as urgent as ever. The new initiative began with Black IBMers and allies taking action with an internal IBM program called the Call for Code Emb(race) Challenge. Solutions created and developed through that program are now being opened to the world to build upon through Call for Code for Racial Justice.  

“Black Girls Code was created to introduce programming and technology to a new generation of coders, and we believe that a new generation of coders will shape our futures,” said Anesha Grant, Director of Alumnae and Educational Programs, Black Girls Code. “We’re excited to participate in Call for Code for Racial Justice and to spark meaningful change.”

Call for Code for Racial Justice is planned for launch at the virtual All Things Open on October 19.

“Each year I’m amazed by how this global community of developers comes together to help solve some of the world’s most pressing issues, and this year is no different,” said Call for Code creator David Clark. “Through the support of UN Human Rights, IBM, The Linux Foundation, the Call for Code ecosystem, world leaders, tech icons, celebrities, and the amazing developers that drive innovation, Call for Code has become the defining tech for good platform the world turns to for results.”

About Call for Code Global Challenge

Developers have revolutionized the way people live and interact with virtually everyone and everything. Where most people see challenges, developers see possibilities. That’s why David Clark, the CEO of David Clark Cause, created Call for Code in 2018, and launched it alongside Founding Partner IBM and their partner UN Human rights.

This five-year, $30 million global initiative is a rallying cry to developers to use their mastery of the latest technologies to drive positive and long-lasting change across the world through code. The Call for Code community includes United Nations Human Rights, The Linux Foundation, United Nations Office for Disaster Risk Reduction, Clinton Foundation and Clinton Global Initiative University, Cloud Native Computing Foundation, Verizon, Persistent Systems, Arrow Electronics, HERE Technologies, Ingram Micro, IntelePeer, Consumer Technology Association Foundation, World Bank, Caribbean Girls Hack, Kode With Klossy, World Institute on Disability, and many more.

Call for Code global winning solutions are further developed, incubated, and deployed as sustainable open source projects to ensure they can drive positive change.

Media Contact:
Deirdre Leahy
(845) 863-4552
deirdre.leahy@ibm.com

Team Agrolly

IBM Corporation logo. (PRNewsfoto/IBM)

SOURCE IBM

This post was originally published on this site



For enquiries, product placements, sponsorships, and collaborations, connect with us at hello@globalcloudplatforms.com. We'd love to hear from you!


Our humans need coffee too! Your support is highly appreciated, thank you!

Total
0
Shares
Previous Article

Nokia and Google Cloud Sign Strategic Collaboration to Transform Nokia’s Digital Infrastructure

Next Article

IBM and The Climate Service to Work Together with Financial Institutions and Corporations to Assess the Cost of Climate Risk

Related Posts

IBM Advances Cloud Pak for Security to Manage Threats Across Tools, Teams & Clouds

- Open platform leverages AI and automation to streamline threat management across hybrid cloud environments and disparate security tools- Industry-first ability to connect threat management, data security and identity within a single platform- New turnkey security services to address cybersecurity skills shortage and remote workforce ARMONK, N.Y., Oct. 14, 2020 /PRNewswire/ -- IBM (NYSE: IBM) Security today announced new and upcoming capabilities for Cloud Pak for Security, including a first of its kind data security solution that allows companies to detect, respond to and protect against threats to their most sensitive data across hybrid cloud environments. Designed to unify previously disconnected security technologies, IBM has expanded Cloud Pak for Security to include new data sources, integrations, and services that allow security operations teams to manage the full threat lifecycle from a single console. With these upcoming capabilities,1 Cloud Pak for Security will include access to six threat intelligence feeds, 25 pre-built connections to IBM and third-party data sources, and 165 case management integrations – which are connected through advanced AI to prioritize threats, and automation playbooks to streamline response actions for security teams. As cloud adoption and remote work have dispersed the traditional IT perimeter, security response teams can benefit from deeper insights into security across hybrid cloud environments. User behavior, identities and data security have traditionally been siloed from threat management. With the upcoming new capabilities, Cloud Pak for Security will become the first platform in the industry to connect data-level insights and user behavior analytics with threat detection, investigation and response. Today IBM is announcing capabilities to advance the Cloud Pak for Security even further, including: Coordinated Threat Response + Data Security: IBM has developed a new industry-first approach to provide security teams with visibility into data activity, compliance and risk, without needing to leave their primary response platform. The new built-in data security hub, scheduled for general availability in Q4, allows analysts to quickly gain context into where their sensitive data resides across hybrid cloud environments, as well as who has access to it, how it is used, and the best way to protect it. Bridging the disconnect between data security and threat management can reduce the timeline for responding to data breaches, which currently take more than six months to identify and contain on average for recently surveyed organizations.2 Access to Industry Leading Threat Intelligence: Cloud Pak for Security is expanding its collection of threat intelligence, helping clients detect early warning signs of active threat campaigns impacting companies around the world. In addition to IBM's X-Force Threat Intelligence Feed, the platform will provide pre-built integrations for five additional threat intelligence feeds from third-party sources, including AlienVault OTX, Cisco Threatgrid, MaxMind Geolocation, SANS Internet StormCenter and Virustotal scheduled for general availability in Q4, and additional threat feeds expected to be added in 2021. Dedicated Services and Support: IBM is launching new dedicated security services to help organizations modernize their security operations with Cloud Pak for Security, leveraging a holistic approach connecting products and services. With a wide range of flexible service options, IBM experts can help clients deploy and manage Cloud Pak for Security across any environment, including end-to-end threat management, managed security services, as well as strategy, consulting and integration support. "Complexity is the greatest challenge facing our industry, forcing resource-strapped security teams to manually connect the dots between disparate tools and sources of security data," said Justin Youngblood, Vice President, IBM Security. "Cloud Pak for Security is built on open, cloud native technologies from the ground up to connect any tool within the security ecosystem. With these updates, we will be the first in the industry to bring together external threat intelligence and threat management alongside data security and identity, helping organizations to modernize their security operations and create the foundation for a zero trust security strategy." Open Connections Across the Security EcosystemCloud Pak for Security leverages open technologies to create an interoperable foundation and deeper connections between the IBM and third-party tools. For instance, the platform uses STIX-Shifter, an open-source library that allows security analysts to search for threat indicators across all connected data sources with a single query. Additionally, Cloud Pak for Security is built on Red Hat OpenShift, providing an open, containerized foundation that can be easily deployed across on-premise, public and private cloud environments.   This open approach allows Cloud Pak for Security to be more than simply a collection of security capabilities, but rather a platform to fully integrate security processes across tools and clouds. The platform uses advanced AI, analytics and automation to streamline the full lifecycle of threat management – including native capabilities for Security Information and Event Monitoring (SIEM), Threat Intelligence, User Behavior Analytics, Data Security and Security Orchestration Automation and Response. These capabilities are delivered through a single, unified user interface that connects the entire threat management process via end-to-end workflows, from detection through response. Through IBM Security's participation in the Open Cybersecurity Alliance, the company will continue to work with the community to advance the development and adoption of open technologies to make security more interoperable. Unified Product and Services ApproachCloud Pak for Security's open framework makes it an ideal solution for collaboration between security teams and external service providers that augment companies' security skills and expertise. Cloud Pak for Security also supports multi-tenancy, enabling service providers to leverage a single instance of the platform to serve multiple companies and sub-organizations while keeping their data isolated. The extensive capabilities of Cloud Pak for Security can be supported by and integrated with IBM Security Services, with unified offerings that connect technologies and services. Clients can take advantage of X-Force Threat Management, an ongoing, end-to-end threat management service that uses a programmatic approach to help clients mature their overall threat management strategy over time. Companies can also leverage a wide variety of IBM Managed Security Services, using Cloud Pak for Security to facilitate real time collaboration and visibility between clients and service teams. Alternatively, companies can leverage IBM Security expert consultants to help them plan for, deploy and integrate the Cloud Pak for Security with their existing security investments. To learn more about IBM Cloud Pak for Security and stay up to date regarding its latest capabilities, visit the website here. You can also register for the webinar which will take place October 29, 2020 at 11:00 a.m. EDT.  About IBM SecurityIBM Security offers one of the most advanced and integrated portfolios of enterprise security products and services. The portfolio, supported by world-renowned IBM X-Force® research, enables organizations to effectively manage risk and defend against emerging threats. IBM operates one of the world's broadest security research, development and delivery organizations, monitors 70 billion security events per day in more than 130 countries, and has been granted more than 10,000 security patents worldwide. For more information, please check www.ibm.com/security, follow @IBMSecurity on Twitter or visit the IBM Security Intelligence blog. Disclaimer: Statements regarding IBM's future direction and intent are subject to change or withdrawal without notice, and represent goals and objectives only. Media Contact: Cassy LalanIBM Security PRm: 319-230-2232cllalan@us.ibm.com 1 Scheduled for general availability within Q4 2020  2 2020 Cost of a Data Breach Report, conducted by The Ponemon Institute and sponsored by IBM Security SOURCE IBM

Ricoh and IBM to Deliver Expanded Services to Customers via Hybrid Cloud

Ricoh selects IBM Services alongside feature-rich IBM Power Systems, furthering the existing relationship between the companies EXTON, PA, October 6, 2020 – Ricoh USA, Inc. and IBM today announced a significant expansion of their existing collaboration to help enable delivery of Ricoh’s innovative information management solutions via the versatile and powerful IBM hybrid cloud. Under the agreement, Ricoh will utilize IBM Services to design and implement a hybrid cloud environment that can empower customers to benefit from Ricoh expertise and advanced technologies, such as the AI-accelerated IBM Power Systems. This streamlining can help customers increase productivity, enhance process transparency and simplify complexity, with a single, powerful cloud environment backed by industry-leading expertise. In addition, IBM’s versatile hybrid cloud capabilities can enable Ricoh to deliver more features and advanced solutions via the cloud to end users. Additionally, Ricoh gains the ability to run both IBM POWER applications and VMware services co-located in the IBM Cloud and offer customers a scalable and cost-effective cloud infrastructure. Ricoh also intends to tap into the versatile Red Hat OpenShift platform via IBM Cloud to help provide a bridge to deploy and manage their applications across all cloud providers in its environment. This can enable Ricoh to deliver more options for customers seeking a fully managed solution. “For everything from Watson AI integration to running everyday applications, IBM Cloud does so much for so many businesses around the world. We are in constant conversation with our partners, collaborating on better ways to serve modern businesses,” said Bob Lamendola, Vice President, Infrastructure and Engineering Services, Ricoh USA, Inc. “Today, we are making it that much easier for users to leverage the power and versatility of IBM’s cloud alongside Ricoh solutions in a shared environment, simplifying complexity while helping to enhance productivity and deliver actionable business insights.” Ricoh’s innovative technologies are designed help make data accessible to people faster and with more insight than ever before. This expanded collaboration with IBM helps bring Ricoh’s information management technology, services and related support to a wider range of customers via IBM Cloud, creating more options for companies to innovate, no matter where they are on their digital transformation journey. “Ricoh understands, at a deep and broad level of experience, how to implement, manage and provide ongoing support for businesses’ digital transformation,” said Bruce Anderson, Global Managing Director, Electronics Industry, IBM. “This collaboration presents another avenue for customers to take advantage of that experience, while also opening them up to the incredible possibilities the IBM Cloud provides.” For more information on Ricoh’s offerings, please visit www.ricoh-usa.com or follow the company's social media channels on Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn. | About Ricoh | Ricoh is empowering digital workplaces using innovative technologies and services enabling individuals to work smarter. For more than 80 years, Ricoh has been driving innovation and is a leading provider of document management solutions, IT services, communications services, commercial and industrial printing, digital cameras, and industrial systems. Headquartered in Tokyo, Ricoh Group operates in approximately 200 countries and regions. In the financial year ended March 2020, Ricoh Group had worldwide sales of 2,008 billion yen (approx. 18.5 billion USD). For further information, please visit www.ricoh.com. Contacts: Chris AndrewsIBM Communications1-845-612-6142candrews@us.ibm.com John GrecoRicoh USA, Inc.(973) 882-2023john.greco@ricoh-usa.com Tracey SheehyBreakaway Communications for Ricoh(908) 705-4596ricohPR@breakawaycom.com © 2020 Ricoh USA, Inc. All rights reserved. All referenced product names are the trademarks of their respective companies.

IBM Enters Esports Arena with Activision Blizzard in New Multi-Year Deal as the Presenting Partner of the Overwatch League Grand Finals

IBM to help power interactive and analytical content for the Overwatch League, engaging fans and players through cloud, IBM's Watson artificial intelligence, and machine learning ARMONK, N.Y. and IRVINE, Calif., Oct. 9, 2020 /PRNewswire/ -- Today, IBM and the Overwatch League™, the world's first global esports league with 20 city-based teams, announced its first-of-a-kind multi-year deal to bring IBM's cloud computing and artificial intelligence (AI) technology to esports. A sponsorship component kicks off at this year's 2020 Overwatch League Grand Finals, which started Oct. 8 and run through Oct. 10. With the agreement – IBM's first-ever esports deal – the technology leader becomes the official AI, cloud, and analytics sponsor of the Overwatch League. The deal covers the 2020 Grand Finals and the entirety of the 2021 and 2022 Overwatch League seasons. Through the course of the deal, IBM and the Overwatch League plan to leverage IBM's suite of advanced cloud and AI products. Starting in 2021, IBM and the Overwatch League will be working closely to develop technology solutions leveraging IBM's expertise in natural language processing and machine learning to improve the league's rankings system, and utilize IBM's Watson AI capabilities to create live and in-broadcast predictive analysis, with specific solutions currently under development. "We're constantly striving to give fans the ability to more meaningfully engage with the Overwatch League, and teaming up with IBM enables us to do just that," said Brandon Snow, Chief Revenue Officer of Activision Blizzard Esports. "IBM's cutting-edge AI and machine learning, underpinned by cloud technologies, will help enable us to bring interactive and innovative engagement opportunities to our fans and teams. This is a fantastic benefit to our viewers, and we're very excited to be announcing it during the biggest event of our season." "We're thrilled to bring our world class Cloud platforms and Watson portfolio to one of the leading esports platforms in the world," said Noah Syken, Vice President of Sports & Entertainment Partnerships, IBM. "The solutions we're partnering to create can help the organizations, players, and fans enjoy an even more immersive, engaging experience. We look forward to working with the Overwatch League, to bring innovative solutions at scale, to broad and relevant audiences." The sponsorship with the Overwatch League will kick off in 2021 and include new solutions, that plan to be hosted on the IBM Cloud. Those solutions, which are currently under development, will leverage IBM's suite of analytics tools to process in-match data, adding Watson's AI capabilities through the use of Watson Machine Learning and the AutoAI functionality within Watson Studio. Additionally, the solutions will find new ways to showcase the wide array of historical statistics that the Overwatch League gets from live play.  The announcement of IBM and the Overwatch League teaming together is IBM's first foray into the global world of esports and joins an impressive list of sports and entertainment partnerships that IBM technology powers around the world. IBM has been a part of gaming history as a hardware manufacturer, chip creator, and software provider for developers since 1985. Over the past 35 years, IBM has worked with gaming and esports entities through PowerPC processors, NLP, and cloud technology. IBM has been a long-time partner to a range of sports organizations, teams, and events, including tennis (US Open and Wimbledon), golf (The Masters), football (via ESPN Fantasy Football), and the GRAMMY Awards. Through IBM's partnerships, including IBM's new engagement with the Overwatch League, IBM is able to reimagine sports, and entertainment experiences for fans, players and coaches alike, leveraging the flexibility of the hybrid cloud, and other AI-powered solutions. About IBMFor more information about IBM, visit ibm.com/news. About the Overwatch League™The Overwatch League™ is the first major global professional esports league with city-based teams across Asia, Europe, and North America. Overwatch® was created by globally acclaimed publisher Blizzard Entertainment (a division of Activision Blizzard—Nasdaq: ATVI), whose iconic franchises have helped lay the foundations and push the boundaries of professional esports over the last 15 years. The latest addition to Blizzard's stable of twenty-two #1 games,* Overwatch was built from the ground up for online competition, with memorable characters and fast-paced action designed for the most engaging gameplay and spectator experiences. To learn more about the Overwatch League, visit www.overwatchleague.com. About Blizzard Entertainment, Inc.Best known for blockbuster hits, including World of Warcraft®, Hearthstone®, Overwatch®, the Warcraft®, StarCraft®, and Diablo® franchises, and the multi-franchise Heroes of the Storm®, Blizzard Entertainment, Inc. (https://www.blizzard.com), a division of Activision Blizzard (Nasdaq: ATVI), is a premier developer and publisher of entertainment software renowned for creating some of the industry's most critically acclaimed games. Blizzard Entertainment's track record includes twenty-two #1 games* and multiple Game of the Year awards. The company's online gaming service, Blizzard Battle.net®, is one of the largest online-gaming services in the world, with millions of active players. *Sales and/or downloads, based on internal company records and reports from key distributors. About Activision Blizzard EsportsActivision Blizzard Esports (ABE) is responsible for the development, operation, and commercialization of Activision Blizzard's professional gaming properties including the Overwatch League™, the Call of Duty® League™, Call of Duty Challengers™, Hearthstone® Masters, StarCraft® II esports, Warcraft® III: Reforged™, and the World of Warcraft® Arena World Championship and Mythic Dungeon International, among others. ABE also operates Tespa, the leader in collegiate esports. It is ABE's vision to be the most innovative, scalable, and valuable developer of global competitive entertainment. Cautionary Note Regarding Forward-looking Statements: Information in this press release that involves the Overwatch League's expectations, plans, intentions or strategies regarding the future, including statements about the collaboration with IBM, including the development of technology solutions, are forward-looking statements that are not facts and involve a number of risks and uncertainties. Factors that could cause the Overwatch League's actual future results to differ materially from those expressed in the forward-looking statements set forth in this release include unanticipated product delays, the COVID-19 pandemic and other factors identified in the risk factors sections of Activision Blizzard's most recent annual report on Form 10-K and any subsequent quarterly reports on Form 10-Q. The forward-looking statements in this release are based upon information available to the Overwatch League and Activision Blizzard as of the date of this release, and neither the Overwatch League nor Activision Blizzard assumes any obligation to update any such forward-looking statements. Forward-looking statements believed to be true when made may ultimately prove to be incorrect. These statements are not guarantees of the future performance of the Overwatch League or Activision Blizzard and are subject to risks, uncertainties and other factors, some of which are beyond its control and may cause actual results to differ materially from current expectations. Contacts IBM Angelena AbateAngelena.Abate@IBM.com Overwatch LeagueKevin Scarpatikscarpati@overwatchleague.com SOURCE IBM