IBM recently announced a significant expansion of its capabilities around business analytics with plans to open a network of Analytics Solution Centers around the world, beginning with five in the second quarter of 2009. These initial centers will be located in Tokyo, London, New York City, Beijing and Washington, D.C. As part of this initiative, IBM will retrain or hire as many as 4,000 new analytics consultants and professionals.
According to the company, the centers will enable IBM “to meet growing client demand for advanced analytics capabilities as part of new, smarter business systems.” Much of the demand is driven by new stimulus investments around the world in areas such as financial risk management, smart grids, electronic medical records and food tracking. These clients are embedding new sensor technology into their processes in order to gather better performance and management data. Organizations are then leveraging new analytics capabilities to turn that data into predictive intelligence to help run new digital infrastructures more effectively and smarter.
For example, IBM announced an analytics engagement with the State of Arkansas to monitor and manage the use of stimulus grants for improving education programs. In addition, IBM introduced new optimization software to help clients solve complex problems and predict outcomes.
“Advanced analytics are increasingly essential to help companies and organizations confronted with vast amounts of data and systemic change and who are looking to build smarter business systems,” says Samuel J. Palmisano, IBM’s chairman, president and chief executive officer. “All organizations today need to sort through myriad choices, make smarter decisions quickly and accurately and act decisively.”
The first three centers will sit in the world’s financial hubs – Tokyo, London and New York City. Staffed initially with more than 100 consultants and mathematicians each, these centers will serve clients seeking a deeper, system-level view of financial risk across markets as they pursue more predictive business outcomes in the new economic condition.
The IBM Analytics Solution Centers initially will be staffed with domain experts from across IBM. As demand grows, IBM will shift training investments to hire or retrain 4,000 high-skilled workers needed for these next-generation positions.
A fourth center will be located in Washington, D.C., at the IBM Institute for Electronic Government, and will focus on analytics requirements needed to manage economic recovery investments. It will house IBM’s Economic Recovery Fund Tracking dashboard, an analytics tool designed for federal, local, and state government officials to monitor and report on stimulus spending from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA). The State of Arkansas is the first state to deploy this new analytics system to track up to $569.9 million in grants for improving education programs.
A fifth Analytics Solution Center will open in Beijing, and will focus on rail and transportation analytics. A major stimulus opportunity in China, transportation infrastructure such as new high-speed trains, a hugely expanded rail
network and faster links between the country’s major cities are in development. This center will bring together research experts, major universities, partners and clients to develop best practices for rail systems that are smarter, more efficient, greener and attractive for travelers all around the globe.
In other news, IBM established its first- ever new service line in its Global Business Services unit. IBM Business Analytics and Optimization Services draws on the company’s expertise in vertical industries, research, software and mathematics to help clients both improve the speed and quality of business decisions while better understanding the consequences and outcomes of those decisions. The organization is staffed with more than 4,000 IBM consultants worldwide.
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