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IBM Launches Major Services Initiative in China

IBM Chairman, President & CEO Samuel J. Palmisano announces agreements with Chinese ministries to develop services science curriculum for universities and program to improve regional medical care

BEIJING, CHINA - 14 Nov 2006: Chairman, President and CEO Samuel J. Palmisano today launched a major initiative to bring IBM's global information technology services expertise and capabilities to China to enable company and government innovation in support of the country's increased focus on developing its services industry.

As part of that initiative, Mr. Palmisano announced that IBM will:

"IBM has a long history of collaborating with our Chinese clients and with the government of China in support of the country's rapid economic development," Mr. Palmisano said. "This services initiative will strengthen our role as China's innovation partner based on our portfolio of the world's best technology combined with our business management and services skills. The announcements we are making today strengthen our ability to help develop future services skills in China while providing solutions now to meet the needs of the evolving Chinese economy." IBM currently has 8,300 employees in China. Third quarter revenue increased 27 percent compared to the same period last year. Announcement of the services initiative caps a month in which IBM has:

Mr. Palmisano cited the results of a recent IBM study of 100 China CEOs focused on innovation in China. Participants noted the importance of integrating business processes and technology to achieve an innovative business model that puts them ahead of competitors. IBM's services initiative will enable IBM clients to achieve such integration by adapting best practices from IBM's global operations to meet the specific requirements of the China marketplace. "We believe this 'Services Innovation -- the New Vision' aligns IBM China with a key priority of the Chinese government, which is the development of a services industry that acts as a catalyst for innovation by both government-owned and private businesses," said Henry Chow, General Manager, IBM Greater China. "The announcements of the past month show IBM's momentum in China and the importance of China to our company. The services initiative we are announcing today will allow us to continue that momentum as we collaborate with our customers in China so that they can better serve their customers and continue to grow their businesses."

Ministry of Education

A Memorandum of Understanding between IBM and the Ministry of Education will lead to the creation of a new academic discipline within Chinese Universities -- Services Science, Management & Engineering (SSME). Through case studies of real businesses and scientific programs, particularly in information technology and business services, the new curriculum will focus on the issues involved in aligning people and technology for both services providers and services clients.

"Today’s announcement brings together two strategically vital efforts for IBM," Mr. Palmisano said. "The first is our long-standing commitment to the success of our Chinese clients and the growth of China’s economy. The second is our work with universities around the world to launch a new field of study -- what we call services science -- aimed at developing the skills, expertise and business models necessary for a services-led global economy. Together, we strongly believe that development of an effective services science curriculum in Chinese universities will have a direct impact on China’s economic growth."

The goal of SSME is to create a services sector that can develop and implement technological applications to help businesses, government agencies and other organizations improve what they do and tap into completely new areas of opportunity. This requires a thorough understanding of how to create and deliver reusable assets so that services engagements can be more easily replicated and more effectively delivered. This new field brings together computer science, operations research, industrial engineering, business strategy, management sciences, social and cognitive sciences, and legal sciences to develop the skills required in a services-led economy.

The agreement is the latest in a series between the Ministry of Education and IBM China dating from 1995 to cooperate on development of an information technology and skills training curriculum within Chinese institutions of higher education. Thus far, more than 300,000 students have been trained in IBM-related technology courses.

The Ministry of Education and IBM hope to initiate an SSME curriculum within two to three years at 50 leading universities across the country. IBM will share knowledge, teach skills, furnish case studies and teaching materials and conduct joint research with the universities. As it trains faculty members, it will introduce teaching materials and best practices from its operations around the world.

IBM also will organize international and domestic academic conferences to share information with Chinese researchers and teachers. The first such session will begin November 30 when IBM will co-host the 2006 Asia Pacific Symposium on Services Science, Management and Engineering with Tsinghua University in Beijing. More than 200 researchers and professionals from government, academia and industry will discuss issues and share their insight, research and experiences in the areas of services science, management, engineering, solutions, education and policy.

Ministry of Health

IBM and the Ministry of Health will collaborate over four years to improve regional healthcare systems through creation of a common information technology platform based on open standards and SOA to share clinical information among health care institutions. Education and training programs also will be developed.

With this project, IBM will bring the technology, business thought leadership and industry standards to create new processes and workflows to drive better outcomes, lower costs and encourage a more patient-centric approach to healthcare. This will lead to the integration of information, which is imperative to help deliver improved patient care. By sharing the same software and hardware environments and information service standards, regional hospitals will be able to share patient information in a secure environment.

The common information technology platform will capture all aspects of medical services delivery at hospitals, including physician’ diagnostic and treatment notes. The platform will provide basic data and technical support for the construction and optimization of systems for the management, monitoring, analysis and evaluation of medical services.

Once the common IT platform is built, pilot programs will be conducted in selected regions. Medical institution managers will use the platform to analyze data and improve the overall quality of management. Medical workers will use the platform to analyze clinical data to improve clinical research. Compliance with established diagnostic and treatment practices will help prevent and reduce incorrect diagnoses and ineffective treatment of patients.  

SOA Solutions Center

An integral part of the China services initiative is the Beijing SOA Solutions Center, which will develop, manage and deliver industry-specific business services that solve some of the most pressing business issues facing IBM clients. SOA allows companies to create new business services easily across their existing information technology infrastructure, For example, a new business service can track inventory through the design, manufacturing, supply and payment business processes, all of which were previously disconnected.

Using IBM's WebSphere Business Services Fabric, based on technology recently acquired from Webify Solutions, the Beijing center will create and manage a portfolio of repeatable, industry-specific services components. The tools and models from Webify make it easier to deliver business services more quickly and consistently than previously possible. The Beijing center will develop services for governments, including financial and case management, as well as services for banks, including real time, risk-based loan pricing.

China Research Lab

The China Research Lab, one of IBM's eight worldwide labs, is playing a key role in an IBM-wide focus on development of intuitive, easy-to-use and pre-packaged set of Web 2.0 services and blade server offerings that will allow small and mid-size businesses to easily build applications customized to their specific business needs.

The China Research Lab, home to IBM's first SMB Innovation Center, is working with clients on development of a set of future Web-based business applications to provide simple, standardized but configurable functions of such key business processes as Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP), Customer Relationship Management (CRM) and Human Resources to support the business operations of small and mid-size businesses. With a population of 180 persons at the end of 2005, the number of employees at the lab is expected to grow nearly 50 percent by the end of 2007.

About IBM

For more information about IBM, please visit www.ibm.com.

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Images

Beijing, China -- 14 November 2006: IBM Chairman, President and CEO Samuel J. Palmisano (left) and Dr. Zhou Ji (right), Minister of the Ministry of Education, People’s Republic of China, at today’s launch of a major initiative to bring IBM's global information technology services expertise and capabilities to China to enable company and government innovation in support of the country's increased focus on developing its services industry.

Beijing, China -- 14 November 2006: IBM Chairman, President and CEO Samuel J. Palmisano (left) and Dr. Zhou Ji (right), Minister of the Ministry of Education, People’s Republic of China, at today’s launch of a major initiative to bring IBM's global information technology services expertise and capabilities to China to enable company and government innovation in support of the country's increased focus on developing its services industry.

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