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Made in IBM Labs: IBM Opens "Innovation Factory" Using Collaboration to Accelerate Innovation of New Products, Services


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ORLANDO, FL & CAMBRIDGE, MA - 28 Mar 2007: CTIA Wireless, IBM Labs -- IBM (NYSE: IBM) has opened its "Innovation Factory," a Web 2.0 solution that manufactures ideas and new products and services for business growth.

Innovation Factory uses a blend of Web 2.0 social networking technologies to help companies rapidly conceive and test new products and services, accelerating a launch process that often takes years down to mere days.

The first industry-specific version of Innovation Factory is being demonstrated simultaneously in Boston and Orlando today and was developed by IBM's High Performance On Demand Solutions (HiPODS) group working in concert with IBM's Telecom Solutions Lab in Austin, Texas. IBM Innovation Factory for Telecom is designed to capture the innovation process from ideas to commercialization, speeding up co-creation among employees, partners, software developers and subscribers through online communities.

Sprint Nextel is among IBM's first clients to pilot a solution based on IBM Innovation Factory for Telecom. "We've thrown open the doors of our Labs to our clients," said Steve Mills, senior vice president, IBM Software Group. "By innovating side-by-side with leaders like Sprint, we bring research, development and market testing together right in the Lab. We end up with happier customers and better solutions."

As telecom providers migrate to IP and next generation services, they require an infrastructure to conceive, prove, and launch a wide variety of voice and data services. Innovation Factory for Telecom uses Web 2.0 technologies like blogs, wikis, social tagging, surveys and polls, to accelerate time-to-market for new services. These social networking and information discovery capabilities apply to services co-created either within the service provider enterprise, or with an external community including subscribers, business partners and financiers.

"Our telecom clients are facing a host of competitive pressures that demand the ability to drive new revenue streams, test new business models, and accelerate the pace of innovation," said Mike Hill, general manager, Telecommunications Industry for IBM. "Telecom operators are in a unique position to make content accessible anywhere, anytime to anyone via any device. The fundamental ability to capitalize on this opportunity and launch services quickly is where telcos count on IBM for greatest benefit."

Innovation Factory for Telecom can play a central role in the launch of new service trials, provide online documentation and support for the trials, and capture feedback about the trials from the innovation community. This process brings service providers closer to their subscribers by more accurately creating products that meet subscriber needs and spotting market trends through early and direct subscriber interaction.

Innovation Factory for Telecom enables service providers to leverage Web 2.0 attributes including harnessing collective intelligence, support for iterative trials and lightweight processes. Incubation is powered by virtualization and automated infrastructure management technologies. Built on IT assets proven by use within IBM, Innovation Factory for Telecom includes IBM software products, open source offerings, and capabilities from third party vendors.

About Made in IBM Labs

Made in IBM Labs is an initiative to drive the most promising emerging technologies and to harness IBM's considerable technical talent to work collaboratively with clients on real-world business challenges and opportunities. Clients benefit from working directly with IBM's technical experts and resources, gaining innovations that are more targeted to their specific needs. IBM Labs also benefit by acquiring first-hand knowledge of client technology, business processes and challenges that they can learn from to spur further innovation for future products and services. For more information, please visit http://www-3.ibm.com/press/us/en/presskit/20324.wss

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