A supercomputer, which is key to IBM's coronavirus response
A supercomputer, which is key to IBM's coronavirus response

IBM Battles COVID-19: $200 Million Worth of AI, Analytics & Computing Power

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While brand-new CEO Arvind Krishna had a slew of urgent business messages to convey during IBM’s Q1 earnings call this week, he also wisely made time to outline the iconic company’s response to the COVID-19 crisis.

Based in the northern suburbs of New York but with a large presence in the city as well, IBM has felt the impact of the novel coronavirus as directly as any company. 

And in Krishna’s first-ever quarterly meeting with financial analysts, he did an impressive job of relating not only the financial impact of COVID-19 but also the company’s wide-ranging response to the crisis. (You can read our detailed analysis of the business side of the earnings call in IBM CEO Arvind Krishna Shares Powerful Vision for $1.2 Trillion Hybrid Cloud.)

Plus, Krishna also promised that IBM’s intention “isn’t just about helping our clients navigate the crisis, but to ensure that they emerge stronger and more resilient.”

Here are some of the COVID-19 details shared by Krishna:

  • more than 95% of IBM’s 350,000 employees are working remotely;
  • 8,000 employees “remain at essential sites to carry out mission-critical work”;
  • IBM is bundling “existing offerings to address the shifting needs of clients” such as enabling remote work by leveraging hybrid cloud and AI;
  • more than 360 petaflops of computing power has been donated for virus-related research;
  • the Weather Channel’s COVID-19 county-by-county map had more than 40 million views in its first week;
  • the planned rollout of more than 100 AI assistants to answer citizens’ questions about COVID-19, with more than 20 up and running; and 
  • the delivery to schools of 300,000 tablets with educational software and free cellular data connections.

Krishna said his company’s overall commitment to the battle against COVID-19, including volunteer time, has a value of more than $200 million.

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