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IBM Launches Business Optimization Center

IBM has unveiled a business optimization center as part of its bid to dominate what it estimates is a $500 billion market opportunity for business-performance services.
IBM on Wednesday took the wraps off a business optimization center as part of its bid to dominate what it estimates is a $500 billion market opportunity for business-performance services.

Unveiled at a press conference in New York's fashionable Tribeca Hotel, the Center for Business Optimization is designed to help large companies maximize their business performance with customized IBM solutions.

William Pulleyblank, director of the new center, said IBM is clarifying how partners will engage with the center for business optimization. Currently, partners must work directly with IBM Consulting Services to take advantage of the center's resources, he said.

Farther down the road, IBM intends to take some of the solutions hammered out at the center and "productize" them as services for its business partners, Pulleyblank said. "Packaged services will run the spectrum," he said, explaining that they will be offered via portals, hosted services or as Web services, for example.

There's no timetable for when IBM would deliver the packaged services to the channel.

The new center represents one of IBM's first initiatives since Chairman Sam Palmisano hailed the Business Performance Transformation Services (BPTS) opportunity in a major address four months ago.

Ginni Rometty, managing partner for IBM Business Consulting Services, was quick to point out that the BPTS initiative is different than IBM's On Demand initiative. "On Demand is a business model," she said. "BPTS is a market segment. It is apples and oranges."