IBM Announces Global Network of e-business Innovation Centers and Alliances

Centers in Atlanta, Boston, Chicago, Dallas, Los Angeles, New York City, Washington, D.C., and Europe Will Help Take e-business to the Next Level

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NEW YORK - 15 Nov 1999: . . . IBM Global Services today said it is launching a worldwide network of e-business innovation centers that will bring together business strategists, marketing specialists, interactive designers, application developers and systems integration specialists to help companies move to the next generation of e-business.

Based on a model pioneered in Atlanta, IBM said it has opened centers in Chicago, Dallas and Washington, D.C. The company plans to expand its presence in those markets and open additional facilities in Boston, Los Angeles and New York City in the next six months.

In Europe, IBM said it intends to open centers in the United Kingdom and Germany, and later in Italy, France and other countries.

IBM's first center started as an experiment in Atlanta in 1995, just as the world was discovering the potential of the Internet. Beginning as a small interactive media studio addressing the emerging market for Web sites, the Atlanta center has grown to more than 400 professionals who provide customers with a full range of e-business services.

"Successful e-businesses combine business strategy, marketing, interactive design and technology to create competitive advantage," said Doug Elix, senior vice president and group executive, IBM Global Services.

"Businesses today want to take e-commerce to the next level. They're looking for ways to strengthen customer relationships by exploiting real-time business intelligence and optimizing their supply chains to speed fulfillment," Elix said. "These centers provide a place for customers to work collaboratively with industry experts with the business knowledge and technical insight to manage the complexity, so our customers can manage their business."

In addition, IBM said the centers will be complemented by a network of alliance partners.

"Our alliance partners each bring unique strengths to the table," said Neil Isford, vice president, e-business Services, who will manage the centers. "They are among the best in digital brand management, interactive design, research, benchmarking and online marketing."

Among the partners initially selected to participate are AnswerThink, The Coleman Group Worldwide, Internet Research Group, OgilvyOne, RGA Interactive, DoubleClick, net.Genesis and Net Perceptions. Isford said additional partners will be announced at a later date.

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