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IBM launches Services Innovation Lab

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IBM announced the creation of the Services Innovation Lab (SIL), a new global lab that will initially comprise about 200 technology experts hand-picked from around the company. The lab will accelerate the expansion of real-time analytics and software automation in both IBM’s technology services offerings and its global services delivery capabilities.

The SIL significantly expands IBM’s nearly 10-year-old services research program by bringing together services, research, software developers and industry experts from around the company to focus initially on the creation of services software applications for cloud computing, analytics and mobility. IBM invests more than $6 billion annually on research and development and employs about 3,000 researchers worldwide, with about a third of them focused on services and analytics.

“Our singular focus is to help our clients capitalize on technologies that solve problems and create new possibilities,” says Mike Daniels, senior vice president and group executive, IBM Services. “Creation of the Services Innovation Lab demonstrates how we at IBM differentiate our capabilities vs. competition. We harness the best of what IBM research and development can deliver in science and engineering to help our clients be more innovative.”

IBM researchers, developers and other technical experts who will participate in the SIL have an array of credentials, including development and client experience in computer science, software, security and compliance, systems management, mathematics and business optimization, data mining, storage, computer systems, user interaction and cognitive sciences. The central mission of these elite researchers and developers is to turn the intellectual property created during client engagements into software – thereby making it easier and faster to replicate a solution to thousands of engagements around the globe.

The SIL will operate out of IBM Research’s Labs worldwide, including New York, California, China, Israel, India, Japan, Switzerland and Brazil. The initial focus of the SIL projects includes:

Cloud Computing. The SIL will create both new Cloud services and devise new methods for moving traditional computing environments to a Cloud-based model. For example, one of the initial projects will be the creation of so-called dashboards that will enable an information technology (IT) professionals more effectively learn what is happening inside a datacenter, where to apply resources and improve productivity.

Advanced Analytics. The SIL will invent new ways to tightly integrate analytic services with business processes to create new types of services and applications that can be injected into client accounts more quickly. One example already in the market is IBM’s Tax Collections Optimizer, which uses new IBM-patented analytics technology to help governments identify the most effective and efficient methods to collect taxes from delinquent debtors.

Service Delivery Automation. The SIL will use data mining and real-time analytics software to create new delivery capabilities that will dramatically improve the operation of a data center by enabling IT management to become predictive and proactive. For example, one project will more accurately predict if a data center will lose power. The new technologies will enable better monitoring and maintenance of data centers that will improve quality and reduce costs.

Enterprise Mobilization and Smarter Planet. Focused on helping services clients capitalize on mobile technologies, the SIL will develop new ways to access enterprise applications and infrastructure regardless of the device being used. For example, the SIL will design a way to enable a mobile device to more easily access with enterprise customer reference systems or expense reporting applications.

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