The Sales Track View From Forrester's Technology Sales Enablement Forum, 2011

Wow! We just came back from our first annual Technology Sales Enablement Forum (Feb. 14-15, 2011). 

Brad Holmes, the practice leader serving Technology Sales Enablement, shared on his blog that the theme for the Forum was New Buyers, New Demands: Accelerating Sales Performance. 

The objectives of the Forum were to help sales enablement professionals identify ways to:

  1. Shift vendor-centric product portfolios into customer-centric problem-solving pathways to business outcomes.
  2. Adapt a go-to-market approach to more effectively model the customer and help the sales team have more valuable sales conversations.
  3. Create strategic programs to better organize and coordinate sales support initiatives and spending.
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It's Elementary My Dear Watson! - Sales Questions A Computer Can Answer

Question: What do Ken Jennings, Brad Rutter, and a computer named "Watson" all have in common? 

Answer: The two humans and computer will all compete on the US game show Jeopardy! the week of February 14, 2011.

In case you're not a Jeopardy! fanatic, both Ken and Brad are previous Jeopardy! champions, and they're credited with some of the longest winning streaks and largest take-home earnings in the game show's recent history (see endnote 1). 

And here's the scoop on Watson: 

For over three years, IBM has been developing what they call the "world’s most advanced question answering machine, able to understand a question posed in everyday human language and respond with a precise and factual answer" (see endnote 2).

Features of Watson:

  • Runs IBM's "DeepQA technology" to help identify context, and answer questions quickly
  • Runs on Linux OS / 10 racks of IBM POWER 750 / 15 terabytes of RAM /2,880 processor core
  • Tens of millions of documents stored
  • Access to the equivalent of 200 million pages of content
  • Note: Watson is not connected to the Internet, so it does not do Web searches.
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