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11/14/2006
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IBM To Help Educate China's Outsourcing Pros

IBM will work with China's Ministry of Education to introduce a curriculum that will focus on case studies of real businesses and scientific programs and draw on computer science, operations research, industrial engineering, management sciences, and other disciplines.

IBM said Tuesday that it will work with the Chinese government to develop a tech and business services curriculum for the country's top universities. "This services initiative will strengthen our role as China's innovation partner," said IBM CEO Sam Palmisano, who is on a whirlwind tour of the People's Republic during which the company has announced a host of new initiatives aimed at boosting its presence in the country. Palmisano was speaking in Beijing Tuesday.

Under the education plan, IBM will work with China's Ministry of Education to introduce a services science curriculum within Chinese universities and business schools. Courses offered under the Services Science, Management & Engineering program will focus on case studies of real businesses and scientific programs and draw on computer science, operations research, industrial engineering, management sciences, and other disciplines.

"We strongly believe that development of an effective services science curriculum in Chinese universities will have a direct impact on China's economic growth," Palmisano said.

IBM says the program will help train China's prospective services professionals in highly efficient methodologies that the company is itself rolling out in customer engagements in the U.S. Those include the application of pre-built, re-usable software components to the construction of service-oriented architectures for customers in a range of industries. The approach eschews the one-off, custom work that IBM has favored in the past for less expensive, faster-to-implement systems that can be pulled off the shelf.

"We believe this services innovation, the new vision, aligns IBM China with a key priority of the Chinese government, which is the development of a services industry that acts as a catalyst for innovation by both government-owned and private businesses," said Henry Chow, General Manager for IBM's Greater China operations.

IBM, intent on boosting its long stagnant top line, is increasing its overall focus on China -- one of the world's fastest growing technology markets. Last week, the company said it would launch a $180 million fund in partnership with Lehman Brothers to invest in midsize and mature Chinese companies. Earlier this year, IBM moved its head purchasing office from upstate New York to Shenzhen.

The company currently maintains a staff of about 8,300 in China. That number that is expected to rise substantially as IBM's initiatives in the country gain steam.

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