IT & Network Infrastructure : IBM Mainframes, Software Boost IT in Emerging Markets

By Darryl K. Taft  |  Posted 2011-03-25 Print this article Print
IBM in Africa

IBM in Africa

IBMs involvement in Africa began more than 60 years ago with the opening of its first African office in Dakar, Senegal, in 1947. Today, IBM has operations in more than 20 African countries including South Africa, Morocco, Egypt, Tunisia, Algeria, Ghana, Nigeria, Senegal, the Ivory Coast, Kenya, Tanzania, Angola and Mauritius.
IBM has been on a mission to further tap into emerging markets and has been leading with the System z mainframe, along with Power systems and IBM software and services. Indeed, the mainframe has been a linchpin in the company's growing revenue in the world's emerging markets. For instance, in February, the finance ministry in the African nation of Senegal bought two IBM System z mainframe servers to maximize tax revenue. That win reflects what IBM CFO Mark Loughridge said during IBM's fourth-quarter earnings call Jan. 18: "To capture the opportunity in emerging markets, we created a dedicated management system, and have been investing to drive market expansion and infrastructure development. Since 2000, we've added $10 billion in annual revenue from our growth markets, and with these markets consistently outpacing the more established major markets, the revenue contribution from the growth markets has increased significantly to 21 percent in 2010." IBM revenue in emerging markets, which includes Africa, was up 13 percent in the fourth quarter. Senegal's new mainframe servers will give customs officers online access to real-time information across all of the country's 30 border checkpoints; the previous system was limited to the Port of Dakar and Dakar Airport. The new mainframe will allow customs officers to check whether the correct duty has been paid on shipments of goods coming into Senegal. The win also shows the continued vitality of the mainframe in a highly competitive server market. In the fourth quarter of 2010, System z mainframe revenue increased 69 percent—to its highest quarterly level—and was a big part of 22 percent growth in IBM's Systems and Technology business. The Senegal Ministry of Finance's use of IBM System z servers illustrates the worldwide potential for bringing advanced computing capabilities to developing markets. Companies in emerging markets like China, India and the African nations are increasingly competing on a global stage, and they want the same qualities, such as security and the ability to manage huge amounts of transactions that more developed countries have. Other recent emerging market clients benefitting from IBM mainframes include the First National Bank of Namibia (that country's first-ever mainframe), Comepay in Russia, the Vietnam Joint Stock Bank for Industry and Trade, Dongbu Insurance and BC Card in Korea, the China Internet Network Information Center and HDFC Bank in India.
Darryl K. Taft covers the development tools and developer-related issues beat from his office in Baltimore. He has more than 10 years of experience in the business and is always looking for the next scoop. Taft is a member of the Association for Computing Machinery (ACM) and was named 'one of the most active middleware reporters in the world' by The Middleware Co. He also has his own card in the 'Who's Who in Enterprise Java' deck.

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