Indeed, the goal of IBMs initiative is to create a services sector that can develop and implement technological applications to help businesses, governments and other organizations improve what they do and tap into completely new areas of opportunity, Poole said. This new field will bring together ongoing work in computer science, operations research, industrial engineering, business strategy, management sciences, social and cognitive sciences, and legal sciences, said Paul Horn, senior vice president and director of research at IBM, in an interview with eWEEK last year.In an interview that occurred as IBM was working to develop a services science curriculum last year, Horn said: "Today services is like software was. Everyone says theres no intellectual property in services. There are no services guys in the IBM Academy, theres no discipline in a university called services, theres no services science. But its the biggest piece of the U.S. economy, but you cant take a course in it. Its one of those amazing things that weve got this huge sector and information technology can actually be hugely differential in services. "It can have an enormous effect. If you look at whats going on in the computer science department in a university, theres a lot of services going on in the graduate departments." He added: "So there are two communities, and the value is in the integration of information technology and business. And its right in between, but you never see that marriage. But I think theres just a huge, huge opportunity. Weve got to go build the services practices of the future. We have to take a few of these micro-practices and really turn them into something special and unique." The universities involved include the University of California at Berkeley, Stanford University, Northwestern University, Arizona State University, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, and Georgia Institute of Technology, IBM said. "University curricula have simply failed to keep pace with the rise of services in the U.S. and other major advanced economies," said Henry Chesbrough, a professor at the Haas Business School at the University of California, Berkeley, in a statement. "IBMs initiative provides a crucial impetus for a more systematic approach to research and teaching in services, which will play a vital role in getting universities to overcome their academic disciplinary boundaries that were created in a bygone era." For its part, Microsoft also has been going after developers in the academic setting, with programs like the Imagine Cup competition, which rewards college students for innovative software design. Morris Sim, senior director of the Academic and Developer Community Group in the Servers and Tools Division at Microsoft, oversees this project and others related to tapping developer resources in the schools. Check out eWEEK.coms for the latest news, reviews and analysis in programming environments and developer tools.
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