IBM to Open SOA Centers for Customers, Business Partners and Students

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DUBAI, UAE & LA GAUDE, FRANCE - 15 Jan 2007: IBM (NYSE: IBM) announced today the plans to open new centers in Dubai and La Gaude, France designed to address the growing demand for skills needed to solve customer business problems using service oriented architectures (SOA). IBM customers, Business Partners and university students are expected to benefit from the eight of these new SOA Leadership Centers (SLC) planned around the world.

The Centers will serve as a focal point to harness the SOA skills and expertise from IBM product and services teams, IBM Business Partners as well as universities to address the skills and knowledge customers in key markets need to reach business goals using an SOA. Each center will be staffed by IBM SOA experts and will focus on three key areas: SOA education and training; SOA implementation support; and SOA exhibitions and demonstrations. In addition to the initial centers in Dubai and La Gaude, centers are also expected to open in Asia, North America, South America and Northern Europe.

"Opening these centers is a direct response to what our customers are demanding," said Jason Weisser, vice president and chief technology officer, SOA advance technology, IBM. "IBM has helped thousands of early SOA adopters successfully solve some of today's most challenging business problems using SOA. Now the SOA Leadership Centers can help customers develop the skills and knowledge to help enable them to use an SOA to attain business goals. Partnering with local universities will also be a major focus of the centers, with a goal of building SOA skills in the emerging work force in these key markets."

Numerous education and training resources will be used for building SOA skills. The SLCs will offer training and instruction from leading SOA experts; certification and joint education programs with top universities around the world; as well as access to industry models and SOA best practices and proven methodologies based on the experience from IBM product and services teams, IBM Business Partners and thousands of successful SOA customer engagements.

Implementation support services available at the Centers will include expert assistance and strategic direction on a customer's specific SOA implementation spanning key areas of the SOA lifecycle such as model, assemble, deploy, manage, and governance. The Centers will also offer expertise and proven methodologies across IBM's SOA entry points which include people, process, information, connectivity, and reuse.

The Centers will host SOA briefings and architect summits for customers and will house SOA demonstrations and workshops for customers and IBM Business Partners. Additionally, the Centers will provide a venue for customers and IBM Business Partners to see SOA solutions in action through SOA proof of concepts and proof of technology to demonstrate the potential benefits of SOA in a customer's existing IT infrastructure.

The Centers will also help address SOA skills through relationships with local universities. Through these relationships, IBM is helping to shape the curricula and provide opportunities for students to develop the proper skills to succeed with SOA in their chosen fields when they enter the workforce. Local students can have the opportunity to serve as interns at these centers, work hands on with technologies that support SOA and attend education sessions delivered by IBM experts.

The new SOA Leadership Center will complement the work of existing IBM centers, including the recently announced Global Business Solution Center (GBSC) in Bangalore, India and the SOA Solution Centers in Beijing, China and Pune, India. The GBSC combines IBM strengths in business consulting, research, software, systems, engineering, and emerging technologies to create business solutions in more than 50 key business areas. The SOA Solution Centers develop, manage and deliver reusable industry-specific business services that solve some of the most pressing business issues facing clients.

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