IBM Launches Innovation Center

ARMONK, NY -- (MARKET WIRE) -- Sep 20, 2007 -- IBM (NYSE: IBM) today announced it will open a new IBM Innovation Center to help start-up companies, software developers, and independent software vendors (ISVs) create new software and hardware applications and services.

Located in Dallas, Texas, and serving local companies, the new IBM Innovation Center will provide technical support and expertise to help businesses test, build and optimize applications based on open platforms. The new center is designed to meet the growing demand from Business Partners and venture funded organizations looking to harness IBM expertise around innovative technologies such as System z, Cell Broadband Engine and Service Oriented Architecture (SOA).

This effort is in response to the tremendous growth that the Dallas technology community is achieving. According to the Greater Dallas Chamber Index, Dallas Fort Worth commands the highest concentration of technology activity in Texas with one-third of all tech establishments and 40 percent of the state's technology jobs.

With the introduction of this new center, IBM will now host a network of more than 35 IBM Innovation Centers around the world. Since their inception over ten years ago, IBM Innovation Centers have become a key component of IBM's strategy to help companies build innovative solutions before they expand into new markets. In 2006 alone, more than 6,000 business partners leveraged IBM Innovation Centers worldwide to build and test new solutions.

Growing Network of Global IBM Innovation Centers

The new IBM Innovation Center in Dallas will offer R&D expertise to enable start-ups, software developers, and other small to mid-sized companies to create new software and hardware applications and services. These efforts will provide start-ups an entry-point to IBM's Research network, accelerating innovation by providing insights into emerging technologies.

To meet the demands from companies that are looking to stay up-to-speed on new technology, the center will also sponsor workshops and best practices for local businesses to take advantage of emerging technologies such as SOA and Cell Broadband Engine architecture. Additionally, IBM will also host connection events offering companies unique networking opportunities for business growth.

Building on Global Successes

In addition to local companies, businesses throughout the world will also be able to take advantage of the resources available at the new IBM Innovation Center in Dallas. For example, through IBM's Virtual Loaner Program, Business Partners around the globe gain access to System i, p and x machines, giving them the same benefits as a loaner machine at their own site, but with the added bonus of IBM managing and hosting the hardware.

IBM has also recently added a new component to the IBM Innovation Centers efforts that will now provide a well-connected global support for Business Partners, independent of their location. IBM will enhance the global integration network that will now seamlessly connect its worldwide IBM Innovation Centers, giving instant access to top researchers and technical experts for all companies, regardless of their proximity to a center.

For example, a Business Partner who requests an engagement with their local IBM Innovation Center in Dublin, Ireland may learn that the IBM Innovation Center in Dallas, Texas is better equipped to meet their technical needs. With access to an Internet connection and just a few easy clicks of the mouse, a company will be able to receive hands-on support from their local IBM team while leveraging the technical resources of an IBM Innovation Center halfway around the world.

"With more than 150 IBM Business Partners in the Dallas area, and that number growing each day, this new investment is being led by the demand from these partners for increased expertise in their local region," said Jim Corgel, general manager, ISV & Developer Relations. "As companies continue to look for ways to grow and expand into new markets, IBM is looking to our partners to set the agenda for ensuring that our resources are meeting their specific needs."

Building on Local Successes

Since 1974, ARX Technologies, based just outside of Dallas, Texas, has worked hand-in-hand with utilities and public sector organizations to create and develop an array of software solutions. An IBM business partner for over 30 years, ARX has learned to take full advantage of the many resources IBM offers to its partners. For example, ARX Technologies has worked extensively with the remote assistance provided by the global network of IBM Innovation Centers to test, validate and modernize its solutions.

"As a rapidly growing company, ARX Technologies is always looking for new ways to leverage the wide range of resources IBM offers to its partners, especially on a local level," said Charlotte Foulkes, CTO, ARX Technologies. "By launching a new IBM Innovation Center in Dallas, IBM is making it possible for us to not only use its facilities for application testing and validation, but having a physical location in the Dallas region also provides us with the opportunity for our staff to attend training sessions and maintain their skills and certifications. More importantly, it provides us with a local facility that we can bring our customers to for hands-on support from IBM."

Today's announcement further demonstrates IBM's commitment to the success of its Business Partners.

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