IBM Opens 'Centres for IBM e-business Innovation:: Sydney'

Positions Australia as region e-business leader

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Sydney, Australia - 28 Nov 2000: - Tonight, IBM Australia will launch its $AU23 million high-tech 'Centres for IBM e-business Innovation:: Sydney', opening the doors for Australia to become a region leader in e-business.

This state-of-the-art facility assembles, under one roof, the leading minds working for IBM in Australia and around the world, via our global network of innovation Centres.  These skills, knowledge and experience, along with incredible technology, allows customers to envision and execute e-business solutions that will enable them to stand out in the marketplace, and provide a unique competitive advantage.

The Hon. Senator Alston, Minister for Communication, Information Technology & the Arts, and the Hon. Michael Egan, Treasurer and Minister for New South Wales State & Regional Development, will officially open the Centre at an on-site celebration to be attended by industry and government leaders and media.

The Centre, located in Pyrmont, Sydney's emerging district, provides industry specific solutions to help companies utilise e-business for improved profitability. Projects to be undertaken will cover the full spectrum of customer requirements including customer relationship management (CRM); business intelligence (BI); supply chain management (SCM); enterprise resource planning (ERP) and e-commerce.

Highly skilled creative, project management, consulting and technical professionals will be housed in the centre including some members of IBM's technology team from the Olympics, the largest e-business project in the world.  An additional 340 new jobs will be created through the Centre and IBM will also work with technology partners to deliver the best available solutions to customers.

"To remain a market leader, at a time when the worldwide web's rapid evolution is changing the economic landscape forever, IBM has transformed the way it does business by incorporating best-of-breed e-business practices. Through the 'Centres for IBM e-business Innovation:: Sydney',  IBM is able to help Australian businesses undergo the same necessary transformation to realise the highest business and marketing aspirations for the e-landscape of the future," said Colleen Arnold, General Manager and CEO, IBM Global Services Australia.

Additional features of the centre are its research laboratories and its ability to be an incubator for much needed IT skills in Australia.  The labs will focus on internet security, network and mobility.

To grow Australia's IT intellectual capital, IBM is forging alliances with local universities for the training and development of students.  These alliances include jointly formed curriculum, the provision of hardware, software and IBM professionals, as well as the opportunity for students to undertake 'hands-on' work at the labs within the Centre.

The University of Technology Sydney (UTS) will be the first educational institution to work with the 'Centres for IBM e-business Innovation:: Sydney' to integrate the laboratories into their undergraduate IT curriculum.

The Hon. Michael Egan, Treasurer and Minister for New South Wales State & Regional Development said that, "The Centre places NSW at the leading edge of global e-business development. The 'new economy' skills and business solutions generated at the Centre will boost the growth of e-commerce enterprises and jobs in NSW."

The Hon. Senator Alston, Minister for Communication, Information Technology & the Arts said, "The 'Centres for IBM e-business Innovation: Sydney' will provide Australian companies with the latest technology and skills for exploring and executing e-business solutions that will make a fundamental difference to their business."

Mr. David Thodey, CEO, IBM Australia and New Zealand said, "The 'Centres for IBM e-business Innovation:: Sydney' is an initiative that is much needed in Australia if we are to take a leadership role in e-business in the Asia Pacific region.  The Centre provides a unique work environment that brings together IBM's existing knowledge and skills in e-business with new thinking, partnerships and remarkable technology."

The 'Centres for IBM e-business Innovation::Sydney' is unique not just in what it will deliver but also the environment it will deliver it from.  Housed in a 100 year old former wool storage building, it has been transformed by Interior Architects Geyer Design into the workplace of the future.  It features freeform desks to allow people to work collaboratively and has the ability to operate 24 hours, seven days a week.  It is also the first wireless workplace of its scale in Australia.  

The 'Centres for IBM e-business Innovation::Sydney' is one of the three largest IBM innovation hubs across the globe and will service the Asia Pacific region.  In all IBM is creating 20 'Centres for IBM e-business Innovation'.  IBM has already opened seven centres in the US: Atlanta, Boston, Chicago, Dallas, Los Angeles, New York, Washington; four in Europe: London, Hamburg, Paris and Milan; one in Asia Pacific in Tokyo and two, opening concurrently with Sydney, in Vancouver and Toronto.  Three more are planned for Asia Pacific.

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