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IBM Teams Up With Twitter, Adds Tweets to Its Cloud

Coming soon: Business applications that take advantage of Twitter's massive trove of data.

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IBM announced its third big cloud-focused partnership in recent memory today, saying it will integrate the massive trove of data generated by Twitter into its cloud analytics applications.

Twitter data will be part of IBM’s Watson analytics application, the cloud-based sibling of the Watson cognitive computing product that IBM first debuted on the TV game show “Jeopardy” a few years ago. The point is to have a constant flow of Tweets and pictures and videos as an option for companies using any of IBM’s cloud services to build their own applications.

IBM is one of the few outsiders with access to the so-called “firehose” of Twitter data. It acquired one of those companies, Gnip, earlier this year, in partial response to Apple’s purchase of another one called Topsy. Two other companies have access: Datasift and NTT Data.

What’s different here is that IBM and Twitter will team up to build their own enterprise-oriented applications that help businesses make more informed decisions based on available data. The first round of apps will be aimed at sales, marketing and customer service operations, but others will likely follow. Those are all businesses that IBM knows well. After that, they’ll build some things for specific industries.

It’s the third big partnership that IBM has announced this year on the cloud front. Over the summer it teamed up with Apple on a broad-based alliance around mobile software and Apple’s iOS devices. Earlier this month it announced another tie-up with SAP, one that will allow the German software maker’s applications to run on IBM’s SoftLayer cloud computing service.

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