IBM's New Analytics Center Hits the Big Apple

IBM has announced the launch of a New York-based IBM Business Analytics Solution Center. The New York analytics center follows on the heels of Big Blue launching a new Linux Innovation Center in the Republic of Kazakhstan.

IBM has announced the launch of a New York-based IBM Business Analytics Solution Center. The New York analytics center follows on the heels of Big Blue launching a new Linux Innovation Center in the Republic of Kazakhstan.

The new center is part of a network of global analytics centers addressing the growing demand for the complex capabilities needed to build smarter cities and help clients optimize business processes and business decisions.

IBM officials said the new Business Analytics Solution Center will be housed at IBM's 590 Madison Ave. location, and it will draw on expertise from across the company, including IBM's Business Analytics and Optimization consulting organization, IBM Research skills in mathematical modeling and optimization, software engineering, and architecture.

The New York-based IBM Business Analytics Solutions Center will be supported initially by up to 450 consultants, researchers, and experts in advanced software platforms with plans to retrain or hire an additional 100, as demand grows. IBM officials touted the center's potential for creating new employment opportunities in New York City.

The New York-based IBM Business Analytics Center, the first center to open in the United States, is part of the recently detailed IBM business strategy to expand IBM's capabilities around business analytics and optimization. IBM opened three other analytics solution centers in Berlin, Beijing and Tokyo over the summer. The remaining centers will be located in London and Washington, D.C. As part of this initiative, IBM expects to retrain or hire as many as 4,000 new analytics consultants and professionals globally.

"The New York Business Analytics Center and our broader focus on analytics is the latest example of IBM moving to focus on the higher value segments of the services marketplace," Fred Balboni, Global Leader, IBM Business Analytics and Optimization Services, told eWEEK. "Analytics will be key in helping civic and business leaders face an unprecedented series of challenges that demand a new approach. We see New York as a hub of innovation around smarter cities and business and are excited to apply our expertise to help meet these challenges."

New York City was chosen because of its status as a global center of finance and its innovations in public safety, municipal government and 21st century urban development, IBM officials said. The IBM Advanced Business Analytics Center will initially focus on all aspects in the development of infrastructure for "smarter" cities, including public safety, transportation and traffic, water and energy optimization. One solution IBM will leverage through the center is the IBM Smarter Cities Assessment Tool, which uses analytics to help cities benchmark their overall capabilities against peer locations, highlight relative strengths and weaknesses and provide initial recommendations for improvement.

Through the IBM Business Analytics Center, IBM Research will collaborate with regional universities to work with New York City and a variety of cities around the world on Smarter City solutions and work force development programs. IBM Research is currently collaborating with the City University of New York (CUNY) and New York University (NYU) along with industry leaders on a program to develop new technologies for cities, IBM said.

The center also will focus on supporting IBM's banking and financial markets clients in the development of systems to provide improved viability and tracking of their risk positions across all markets and asset classes.

"We're seeing an incredible opportunity for businesses, institutions and governments to elevate the performance of all existing systems to another level via the application of advanced analytics," said Phil Guido, general manager of the Eastern U.S. for IBM, in a statement. "Through close collaboration with universities, educational organizations and local leaders, we are making this investment in New York to encourage further development of the necessary skills required to apply analytics to the region's most complex challenges and biggest opportunities."

Meanwhile, on Sept. 25 IBM announced the opening of a Linux innovation center in Astana, Kazakhstan. Kazakhstan is probably best known as the home of the Borat character made famous by Sacha Baron Cohen in the movie "Borat." However, the Eastern European country represents an untapped, emerging market for high-tech that IBM views as a ripe opportunity, particularly for open-source technology such as Linux.

"Like many emerging markets, Kazakhstan faces the ambitious task of growing and enhancing its IT infrastructure very fast to match the demands of a new economy," said Inna Kuznetsova, IBM's vice president of Systems Software, marketing and sales enablement, in a statement. "Using open source and standards-based computing, Kazakhstan can avoid the pitfalls of an expensive, proprietary infrastructure and build a more flexible IT foundation to expedite economic development. The Linux center will deliver educational and practical resources to bolster open source adoption and spur innovation."

The mission of the IBM Center of Innovation for Linux and Open Standards is to drive the development and adoption of open standards and open-source technologies among businesses and government organizations of Kazakhstan. The Center will help local software developers increase their Linux and open standards expertise and better connect them to the worldwide Linux community.

The initial key projects of the Linux center include providing support to regional independent software vendors (ISVs) and IBM business partners to localize major worldwide applications and ensure availability of key local applications on Linux, and developing prototypes of e-government services and other government projects based on Linux and open source, among other things.

IBM also offers Linux expertise and resources around the world through capabilities available at more than 40 full-service IBM Innovation Centers in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam; Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia; Sao Paulo, Brazil; Bangalore, India; Moscow and other locations, such as the Cape Town, South Africa center, which opened recently. The Linux resources available at these centers include free Linux workshops, help in porting Linux applications, remote access to Linux running on IBM System z and more.