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IBM Launches Vietnam Innovation Center to Fuel Technology Growth

New University Collaborations and Developer Resources Foster Local Technical and Business Skills Development

HO CHI MINH, Vietnam - 26 May 2009: IBM (NYSE: IBM) further expanded its reach into growing nations with the opening of the first IBM Innovation Center in Vietnam. The new center aims to help local communities build skills and develop new technologies to support demand for digital infrastructure projects in banking, telecommunications, energy and government industries.

The center, located in Ho Chi Minh City, will provide entrepreneurs, business partners, venture capitalists and academics across Vietnam, Cambodia and Laos with access to training workshops, consulting services, a broad technical infrastructure, and hands-on assistance to help bring new technologies to market.

As part of IBM's efforts to help build and support the burgeoning technical community in Vietnam, IBM also announced new collaborations with leading universities and improved access to no charge developer resources:

The news is in response to accelerated IT growth in Vietnam. As Internet use in Vietnam continues to rise at a considerable rate, the country's IT sector has grown more than 20 percent annually. Internet usage, limited to 200,000 citizens in 2000, doubled between 2005 and 2008 with over 20 million Vietnamese accessing the Internet today, according to the Vietnam Internet Network Information Center.

Of all developing countries, Vietnam has the highest Internet penetration rate, and with a goal of becoming a fully industrialized nation by 2020, wide-spread Internet access across Vietnam will help fuel the creation of new businesses that drive innovation into maturing industries.

In support of these opportunities, the Vietnam IBM Innovation Center will provide technical experts and customized hands-on supports to test and validate users' software technologies before they go to market. The center will offer training and access to open standards-based and emerging technologies such as cloud computing, Web 2.0 technologies, service oriented architecture (SOA), service management, and computing designs with energy and environment benefits.

"IBM continues to make major investments in emerging markets around the world, growing business while helping to develop local ecosystems that advance IT skills and innovation," said Jim Corgel, general manager, IBM ISV and Developer Relations. "With this IBM Innovation Center and new university collaborations, we are able to make IBM's technical resources and expertise more accessible to fuel innovation and help local businesses and academics compete on a global scale."

The Vietnam center adds to the growing network of 43 IBM Innovation Centers worldwide, part of the company's $1 billion annual investment into the success of its 100,000 global business partners.

In 2008, IBM Innovation Centers assisted more than 22,000 business partners with workshops, seminars and consultations to build their skills and develop solutions on IBM technologies, leading to over 7,000 technology enablements.

This year, IBM Innovation Centers will hold no-charge IBM Business Partner Development Series interactive seminars to provide insight on IBM's leading technology in areas ranging from dynamic infrastructure to cloud computing and energy efficiency, as well as details on how partners can maximize their relationship with IBM by taking advantage of available IBM resources to help them get to market faster, reduce development cost and shorten sales cycles.

"As an IBM Business Partner, our company has benefited from no cost access to deep technical and consulting expertise at the IBM Innovation Center in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia," said Alexander Grygoruk, president and CEO of UNICOM Software in Ho Chi Minh City. "The center has allowed us to maintain our high performance edge, reduce porting and testing costs and get our banking software to market more rapidly. The new Vietnam IBM Innovation Center will provide an excellent local resource to help businesses gain access to technology and skills needed to drive new businesses and innovation into the region."

Further strengthening IBM's commitment to the Vietnamese market, the IBM Innovation Center also will serve as a local technology hub, linking together local IBM business partners with IBM Vietnam's Cloud Lab, Banking Center of Excellence and Technical Exploration Center.

"As a growing nation, Vietnam provides vast opportunities for local companies, start-ups, academics and IT professionals," said Vo Tan Long, Country General Manager of IBM Vietnam. "Since 2000, IBM has launched more than a dozen IBM Innovation Centers in emerging nations like Vietnam to drive growth and innovation around IT skills. This country has a wealth of talent, and IBM is committed to help develop the local technical community."

New Academic Relationships and Software Developer Resources

The announcement includes two separate initiatives between IBM and The College of Technology, VNU in Hanoi, and The University of Technology, VNU in Ho Chi Minh City to establish new research and curriculum supporting the need to develop the technology and business skills to meet future job opportunities.

The University of Technology, VNU in Ho Chi Minh City and IBM will create a cloud computing lab that will allow the university to test, evaluate and extend different advanced cloud computing configurations. This will help the university engage in world class research activities and enable collaboration with leading industries in the region.

The joint effort will include research with IBM hardware and software and the creation of educational programs and curriculum relating to cloud computing technology. The University also will join the IBM Academic Initiative, which provides a host of no charge resources to faculty and students to help create programs that drive 21st century skills.

The College of Technology, VNU in Hanoi and IBM will jointly establish new curriculum and research, with a focus on SSME which combines computer science, engineering and business strategy into one discipline. The college will establish an SSME department, focused on the new academic discipline designed to produce students with the combined business and technology skills needed to enter today's workforce ready to contribute immediately to their countries' economic growth and innovation.

IBM works closely with over 20 of Vietnam's academic institutions to help build the highly skilled professionals in great demand for the nation's modernization and innovation efforts.

IBM also launched Vietnamese language resources on developerWorks, to provide Vietnamese IT professionals with greater accessibility to software tools and code, IT standards and best practices, and skills training. These resources can be found at: www.ibm.com/developerworks/vn.

As the largest and most visited global site to gain technology skills, developerWorks is used by millions of developers worldwide and has helped advance open standards and emerging technologies while making sure IT companies have the tools and skills to support technology investments such as Java, Linux, XML and cloud computing.

From more information on IBM Vietnam, please visit: www.ibm.com/vn.

For more information on IBM Innovation Centers, please visit: www.ibm.com/partnerworld/iic.

For more information on the IBM Innovation Center in Vietnam, please visit: www.ibm.com/partnerworld

Contact(s) information

Lon Levitan
IBM Media Relations
512-286-7216
levitan@us.ibm.com

Nguyen Phuong Linh
IBM Vietnam Media Relations
+84-43-946-2164
linhnp@vn.ibm.com

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