IBM opens business analytics hub in China

IBM’s plan to build a global network of business analytics services centres continued apace this week with the opening of its third such establishment near Beijing yesterday.

The centres offer customers the hardware, software, consulting and human resources to conduct complex analytics, all as a service, the company says.

“Our unique expertise in R&D, software and consulting will be brought together in our new IBM Analytics Solution Centres, helping to make our clients’ businesses into smarter enterprises, and helping to create the jobs of the future”, said IBM CEO Sam Palmasino as he revealed the strategy earlier this year.

Analytics Solutions Centres have been opened in Tokyo and Berln earlier this year, and IBM intends to open two more, in London and New York, later this year. Over 4,000 consultants will be employed at these centres, which fall under the jurisdiction of IBM’s Global Services division.

The centre in China will focus, though not exclusively, on public infrastructure projects such as rail or traffic management, while other centres are targeted at the financial services industry. Last month, IBM strengthened its business analytics software footprint with the acquisition of SPSS.

IBM has already opened two public sector services centres in China this year, a rail innovation centre and a healthcare research laboratory. The company hopes to capitalise on the hundreds of billions of dollars the Chinese government is investing in public infrastructure.

It also operates a cloud services centre in a software park in Wuxi near Shanghai, allowing independent software developers to offer their solutions over the web using IBM’s infrastructure.

Elsewhere in China, networking giant Cisco recently revealed that it is co-sponsoring a supply chain management leadership school at Fudan university in Shanghai.

"Cisco is committed to a ‘Cultivated Innovation’ model aimed at boosting local innovation in China through capital, technology, process expertise, incubation resources and leadership investments,” said Cisco China CEO Jim Sherriff.

Cisco’s dealings with the Chinese government in the past have been controversial. In May 2008, the company was asked to explain a leaked presentation document that included details of the Chinese government’s policy of censoring material relating to the Falun Gong spiritual and resistance movement. Cisco strenuously denied any attempt to capitalise on censorship to a US senate subcommittee.

Pete Swabey

Pete Swabey

Pete was Editor of Information Age and head of technology research for Vitesse Media plc from 2005 to 2013, before moving on to be Senior Editor and then Editorial Director at The Economist Intelligence...

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