IBM Corp. (IBM) and Shell have teamed up to launch Oren, a business-to-business marketplace platform to help mining companies accelerate the digitalization of their operations and services.
Mining companies are seeking automated mine solutions such as self-driving haul trucks and remote operations centers in their operations as the coronavirus pandemic has disrupted business operations. To do this, mining operations need to become more digital both within the mines and throughout the wider value chains.
Shell, a major supplier of lubricants to the mining industry, engaged with more than 350 mining businesses, found that a large majority of companies are struggling with challenges in their operations. These include difficulty in aggregating data, lack of intelligent workflows, improving sustainability, along with keeping employees safe while deploying autonomous technology.
“Mining customers can benefit from many of the digital solutions used in the energy industry, for example, those that help manage operations safely and efficiently in remote locations,” said Carol Chen VP, Global Marketing Lubricants Shell. “We envision Oren being the one-stop digital destination for the mining sector to access the best digital solutions and technologies, not just from Shell and IBM, but also from leading and emerging companies. Being able to find and access a wide range of solutions digitally is even more important given the movement constraints faced as countries respond to Covid-19.”
The Oren marketplace platform allows solution developers – both established enterprise companies as well as start-ups – to get their market innovations to mining clients quickly. Oren also aims to enable mining companies to build a digital roadmap by creating connected solutions that integrate and leverage data, Artificial Intelligence, Internet of Things, automation and analytics.
Shares in IBM, which have surged some 30% in the past two months, are now down just over 7% year-to-date. The stock declined less than 1% to $124.15 at the close on Wednesday.
Bank of America’s Wamsi Mohan maintains a Buy rating on the stock with a $145 price target, saying that IBM will benefit from doubling down on the shift to hybrid cloud, synergies and incremental cost cuts resulting from last year’s Red Hat acquisition, and a strong financial position.
Turning now to Wall Street, analysts are cautiously optimistic about the stock’s outlook. The Moderate Buy consensus breaks down into 4 Buy ratings versus 8 Hold ratings. The $132.36 average price target suggests shares have 6.6% upside potential in the coming 12 months. (See IBM stock analysis on TipRanks).
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