IBM leaves NZ out in cold

IBM plans to set up three more e-business 'innovation centres' in locations around the Asia-Pacific but New Zealand won't be among them.

IBM plans to set up three more e-business “innovation centres" in locations around the Asia-Pacific but New Zealand won’t be among them.

Two centres established last year in Tokyo and Sydney will eventually be among 20 around the world, according to IBM spokespeople in Australia. The investment from IBM consists of about $A23 million over five years, supplemented by federal and state government funding.

Two other Asia-Pacific centres will probably be stationed in China and Singapore, the spokespeople say. New Zealand wasn’t considered for such a centre as it comes under the auspices of Australia in this regard. New Zealand customers have already used the Sydney centre, IBM says.

The centres, which come under IBM’s Global Services arm, are 24-hour facilities for developing and testing solutions and are “vendor-neutral” in that they don’t demand the use of IBM hardware or software. The Sydney centre, housed in a 100-year-old former wool storage building in Pyrmont, operates “totally wireless” network and internet connections. IBM says projects to be undertaken will include customer relationship management (CRM), business intelligence (BI), supply chain management (SCM), enterprise resource planning (ERP) and e-commerce.

Some of the 340 new jobs to be created are to be filled from IBM’s technology team from the Olympics. The centre's research laboratories will focus on internet security, network and mobility.

The University of Technology Sydney (UTS) will integrate the laboratories into its undergraduate IT curriculum.

The Sydney centre joins seven in the US: Atlanta, Boston, Chicago, Dallas, Los Angeles, New York and Washington; four in Europe: London, Hamburg, Paris and Milan; the one in Tokyo; and two that opened at the end of last year in Vancouver and Toronto.