|By Yeshim Deniz||
|December 3, 2009 11:30 AM EST||
IBM further expanded its reach into growing nations with the opening of the first IBM Innovation Center in the Philippines. The new center aims to help the local business and academic communities to build skills and develop new technologies that support demand for digital infrastructure projects in banking, energy, telecommunications, transportation, retail and government industries.
The center, located at the UP-Ayala Techno Hub in Commonwealth, Quezon City in Metro Manila, will provide entrepreneurs, business partners, venture capitalists and academics across the nation with access to training workshops, consulting services, a broad technical infrastructure, and hands-on assistance to help bring new technologies to market. The new center supports IBM's efforts to invest in emerging markets around the world, helping to develop local ecosystems that advance IT skills and innovation.
New IT opportunities are being fueled by a $6.8B (US) Philippines Economic Recovery Program investing in infrastructure projects in areas including transportation, tourism, power, water and housing. Additionally, the Philippines is experiencing substantial IT growth backed by an estimated 24 million Filipino Internet users today, a 75 percent increase from 14 million in 2008.
The Manila IBM Innovation Center will help support new opportunities by providing technical experts and customized hands-on support to test and validate users' software technologies before they go to market. The center also will offer training and access to open standards-based and emerging technologies such as cloud computing, Web 2.0 technologies, service oriented architecture (SOA), analytics, and computing designs with energy and environmental benefits.
"IBM embraces the spirit of entrepreneurship in the Philippines and firmly believes that growth through innovation occurs when universities, industry and government collaborate," said Jim Corgel, general manager, IBM ISV and Developer Relations. "With this IBM Innovation Center, we are able to bring these groups together and provide greater access to our technical resources and expertise to help local businesses compete on a global scale."
The new Philippines center adds to the growing network of over 40 IBM Innovation Centers worldwide, part of the company's investment into the success of its 100,000 global business partners. In 2008, IBM Innovation Centers assisted more than 22,000 business partners with workshops, seminars and consultations to build their skills and develop solutions on open standards and IBM technologies, leading to over 7,000 technology enablements.
"My business will benefit from no cost access to deep technical and consulting expertise at the Manila IBM Innovation Center," said Robert Cheng, president of Alliance Software, a prominent Philippines-based software development company and IBM Business Partner. "The center will allow us to reduce porting and testing costs and get our Alliance WebPOS software to market more rapidly. The new IBM Innovation Center in the Philippines will provide an excellent local resource to help businesses gain access to technology and skills needed to drive innovation and foster growth of new businesses in our country."
As part of IBM's efforts to help support the burgeoning Filipino technical community IBM also has helped develop curricula and provided no cost access to software, hardware and industry experts to nine of the leading Filipino higher education institutions.
Additionally, IBM has seen substantial growth among Filipino IT professionals taking advantage of IBM developerWorks, the largest and most visited global site to gain technology skills. Over 20,000 unique Filipino developers are visiting developerWorks each month in 2009 -- an increase from 12,000 in 2008 -- gaining access to software tools and code, IT standards and best practices, and skills training in technologies such as IBM and open source software, Linux, Java, XML and cloud computing.
"As a growing nation, the country provides vast opportunities for local companies, large enterprises, start-ups, academics and IT professionals," said James Velasquez, Country General Manager of IBM Philippines. "In 2009 alone, IBM has launched six IBM Innovation Centers in emerging nations including the Philippines to drive growth and innovation around IT skills. This country has a wealth of talent and resources, and IBM is committed to help develop the Filipino technical community."
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