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City of Cambridge turns to IBM analytics to improve city operations, services

IBM Canada Ltd. and the City of Cambridge this week announced a collaborative initiative that combines IBM research, consulting services and software aimed at improving city planning, operations and services across all municipal...


June 8, 2011  


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IBM Canada Ltd. and the City of Cambridge this week announced a collaborative initiative that combines IBM research, consulting services and software aimed at improving city planning, operations and services across all municipal departments.

The IBM Analytics for City Services and Safety (ACCESS) project is part of IBM’s “First-of-a-Kind” program that brings IBM researchers and clients together to test new technologies for business and develop software applications to improve the way business works.

“Like all cities, Cambridge has a network of complex systems which are managed by multiple departments,” IBM said in a release. “These departments perform several types of activities ranging from capital improvement planning and project execution through to the management of day-to-day city operations. They must also prepare for unplanned events like snow storms and traffic accidents. Budget restraints, coupled with growing demands due to rapid urbanization and aging infrastructure add further complexity.”

“This new initiative will help us transform from a sense and respond model that is mainly focused on one area to a more predictive model across multiple departments,” said Mayor Doug Craig. “With technology innovation, we can reduce overall operating costs, improve quality of service and sustainably enhance operations, infrastructure and public safety for our citizens

The City of Cambridge ACCESS program will draw on insights from a recent IBM initiative with Washington D.C.’s Water and Sewer Authority. Thecollaboration helped the U.S. federal government’s water department develop solutions to more efficiently manage work crews and infrastructure while enhancing revenue and streamlining water usage.

“We live in an age in which analytics are an effective tool to help cities better monitor, measure and manage nearly any physical system at work,” said Lisa Caldwell, managing partner, Global Business Services, IBM Canada.  “By collecting and analyzing capital project planning information on everything from transportation networks to the electricity grid, the City of Cambridge will become a worldwide model on how to predict how changes to one system will impact others to substantially increase efficiency and productivity.”