IBM Recognized as Top IT Training Provider, Reports Analyst Firm International Data Corporation

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ARMONK, NY - 26 Aug 2003: IBM today announced that analyst firm IDC has recognized IBM as the industry leader in IT training. The report, titled "Vendor Needs and Strategies: Top 15 Worldwide IT Training Providers, 2002," positions IBM as one of the few vendors able to meet IT training market demands with multiple solutions.

"IBM has sufficient expertise and delivery capability to provide highly reliable and much sought after capabilities across a wide range of learning services -- including needs assessments, organizational design and curriculum design and development," the report states.

In order to offer such broad capabilities, IBM leverages its business consulting expertise, e-business integration skills, IBM Research and a robust product portfolio to create a customized "blended learning" approach to IT training. Blended learning combines self-study and e-learning with mentoring and hands-on, instructor-led classes -- giving customers exactly what they need and the best of IBM's resources. The approach gives companies more flexibility, increased cost savings and can remove time constraints when implementing an IT training program.

"IBM's customers profit from our diversity of services and benefit from our ability to align their business objectives with their human and intellectual capital," said Greg Schrubbe, director IBM IT Education Services. "The IDC report validates our IT training approach, as well as our growth strategy. IBM has made a significant investment in growing its IT consulting business, to ensure that we can offer more than a hardware or software solution."

The report also points to the integration of the newly formed Business Consulting Services learning division as a complement to the existing business. "IBM Learning Solutions has built upon what was already a stalwart training business. Big Blue is now one of the largest providers of ERP training and is in a very strong position to grow its business through broad-based, enterprise learning solutions comprising services, infrastructure, and learning content directed at both IT and non-IT audiences," the report states.

"IBM clearly recognizes learning as a strategic lever for customers who need to be responsive in fast-changing environments," says Michael Brennan, program manager for IDC's Corporate Learning and Performance Research, "Big Blue's internal learning and technology expertise, extensive product portfolio, and ensemble of learning partners position the company well to take advantage of the growth opportunities offered by both the IT and non-IT corporate training markets."

In general, IDC is optimistic about the corporate IT training marketplace, particularly after 2003. The report encourages vendors to consider focus on the following four areas:

IBM has demonstrated success in these four areas through marketing relationships with content providers like The Thomson Corporation, and through its own IT training program -- saving IBM more than $350 million in 2002.

IDC analysts used revenue growth as the primary metric for the report rankings, noting revenue is also a surrogate for brand awareness. According to IDC, "IBM Learning Solutions leverages the strong brand recognition and value perception generated by the broader IBM [brand] to maximize its presence in the training marketplace."

More information on the IDC report can be found at