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IBM Innovations to Help Companies Overcome the Challenges of Globalization


ARMONK, NY - 14 Jan 2008: IBM (NYSE: IBM) today unveiled new software and research innovations aimed at improving the way employees across an organization collaborate in a globally integrated enterprise.

The challenges of globalization are forcing companies to become more nimble, using an increasingly geographically-dispersed and virtual workforce to remain competitive. In the world of software development, this means 24x7 collaboration with specialized teams around the globe to pick up where another left off. IBM is also examining how virtual worlds can help software development teams break down the barriers caused by globalization.

IBM is announcing it is opening up its development platform based on Web 2.0 technologies for developers to collaborate and contribute to software under development at www.Jazz.net. Jazz.net is an open, commercial community designed to help companies globally and transparently collaborate on the development of Jazz-based technology.

Previously only available to IBM customers, academics and partners, Jazz.net is now open to the greater software development community. IBM's vision for community-driven development expands the boundaries of how the open source community can impact global software development by not merely creating a vehicle for feedback after products have been developed, but enabling the global community to be a part of IBM's development process from start to finish.

IBM is also announcing IBM Rational Team Concert Express, available later this year, which will help small and mid-sized development teams significantly improve their productivity by enabling real-time collaboration across a geographically dispersed software delivery team.

"IBM is redefining how software development and delivery will be done in the future," said Dr. Danny Sabbah, general manager, Rational Software, IBM. "Open commercial development at Jazz.net is changing the way IBM products are delivered to customers by making the process truly a community effort."

Collaboration to foster greater innovation
Beginning today, the global software development community can collaborate on the development of IBM Rational Team Concert Express, IBM's first offering developed on the Jazz technology platform. IBM Rational Team Concert Express will help small and mid-sized development teams improve their productivity by enabling real-time collaboration across their global software delivery team. IBM will also offer IBM Rational Team Concert Express free of charge to qualified open source projects and to academic institutions for use in accredited course programs or academic research projects.

Currently available at www.Jazz.net, IBM Rational Team Concert Express beta 2 includes Web dashboards to help software project teams see real-time project status data such as the status of work items and project health. IBM Rational Team Concert Express beta 2 allows software development teams to use DB2 and other databases to host the IBM Rational Team Concert repository. IBM Rational Team Concert Express is based on open standard middleware including IBM WebSphere, IBM Lotus Sametime, Apache Tomcat, Apache Derby and Jabber.

IBM Rational Team Concert Express is the first Jazz-infused offering in a new family of development servers being developed by IBM. Over the next several years, most of the IBM Rational portfolio will evolve to incorporate Jazz technology to improve team collaboration and simplify the ability to integrate IBM products and those of our business partners. This will provide both new and existing IBM customers with a flexible on-ramp to the Jazz platform of the future.

"Jazz is a wonderful example of the technical innovation that is occurring on the Eclipse platform," said Mike Milinkovich, executive director of the Eclipse Foundation. "IBM has a well deserved reputation in the Eclipse community for producing great technology and I am sure our community will be very interested in this new product."

IBM Research examines team collaboration in virtual worlds
IBM understands that developing a workforce that is adaptive to change in a global economy is vital to the growth of a company and to the development of future leaders. As Baby Boomers continue to retire and Generation Y comes of age, new work styles must emerge to motivate and retain employees in the new corporate landscape.

IBM Research is working to solve the digital divide in the workforce with Project Bluegrass, a project that integrates three key factors in motivating Millennials -- collaboration, communication and visualization. Project Bluegrass takes the IBM Jazz technology and creates a virtual-world environment where software developers can work, chat and brainstorm around a virtual water cooler while "seeing" their teammates alongside interactive visual representations of ideas, data from the Web and from Jazz-based sources.

The older workforce possesses huge amounts of professional knowledge and information that needs to be communicated to future generations. While Project Bluegrass provides a workspace full of stimulation with instant messaging, presence awareness and project tasking that appeals to Generation Y, it also provides the ability to integrate these technologies with current IBM technology that Baby Boomers and Generation X are comfortable with.

Today's announcement illustrates the future of work and how IBM operates as a globally integrated enterprise in the 21st century workplace. Global integration has become embedded in IBM's workforce, strategy, leadership and operations -- affecting how the company collaborates across time zones and cultures and locates its operations, functions and leadership anywhere in the world based on the right skills and business environment.

Attendees at IBM's Lotusphere conference in Orlando, Florida from January 20-24, 2008, can view a demonstration of Bluegrass at the IBM Innovation Lab. A virtual demo of Bluegrass is also available on kiosks at IBM CODESTATION (http://slurl.com/secondlife/IBM%20CODESTATION/124/159/25/) in Second Life.

For more information on IBM's Jazz project and related research initiatives, visit http://www.ibm.com/rational/jazz/.

To register for the Jazz project or download IBM Rational Team Concert, beta 2, visit http://www.Jazz.net/.

Members of IBM's developerWorks community of more than six million technical professionals can participate in the community space at www.ibm.com/developerworks/spaces/jazz/.

Contact(s) information

Karen Lilla
IBM Media Relations
1-617-693-8115
karen_lilla@us.ibm.com

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