Made in IBM Labs: IBM Showcases 40 Years of Innovation at the Toronto Software Lab

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TORONTO, Ontario, Canada - 22 Aug 2007: To mark the 40th anniversary of its Toronto Software Laboratory and 90 years of operation in Canada, IBM (NYSE: IBM) today showcased a number of locally-developed new technologies including Web 2.0 and Radio Frequency Identification (RFID).

The new technologies, built to address real-life scenarios, were developed using IBM’s agile development approach, which minimizes risks in the software engineering process through shortened iterations of development phases, while blending in business processes from the very beginning. Highlights include:

The IBM Toronto Software Lab was opened 40 years ago with 55 employees. The lab’s early projects included a Canadian Online Banking System and The Maintenance Device, which was IBM’s first portable computer in an attaché case and used by IBM’s customer service representatives around the world. Since then, engineers at the lab have fine-tuned technologies needed by clients around the world.

“IBM’s significant investment has made the Toronto lab one of the premium software development facilities in the industry,” said Steve Mills, senior vice president and group executive, IBM Software. “Clients come to Toronto from around the globe with their business opportunities and challenges. Our lab professionals help them find innovative solutions.”

“By shifting from code writing to joint agile development with clients, IBM labs have been providing real business value,” said Martin Wildberger, director of the IBM Toronto Lab.

Today, with 2,500 staff, the Toronto Lab is the largest software development organization in Canada and IBM’s fourth largest software lab. In addition to crafting solutions with industry-leading software such as DB2 and WebSphere Commerce, the Lab is also recognized as a leader in user-centered design and for its model of partnering with clients, academia and government through its Centre for Advanced Studies. 

IBM’s other research and development facilities in Canada include the Bromont site in Quebec, which specializes in packaging and testing of electronic components such as high-end chips; and software labs in Ottawa, Montreal and Victoria.

Made in IBM Labs
IBM’s Toronto Lab is a member of IBM’s network of more than 60 research and development labs around the globe. IBM’s laboratory population includes more than 28,000 researchers, developers and engineers. More than 20 percent of them work directly with clients. In 2006, the labs conducted more than 10,000 engagements with clients -- a 55 percent increase over the previous year.

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