IBM opens hi-tech facility in SA - TechCentral

IBM opens hi-tech facility in SA

Abraham Thomas

Abraham Thomas

As part of its focus on and expansion into Africa, IBM’s South African subsidiary has opened a multimillion-dollar client centre in Johannesburg. It’s the second such facility to be opened by IBM on the continent.

The centre shares its location with IBM’s Innovation Centre. Together, the two centres represent a US$1,6m investment that is meant to “accelerate innovation” among the company’s clients.

The centre will provide access to cloud computing resources, analytics and big data services, with access available to IBM clients and partners, as well as developers, entrepreneurs, venture capitalists and academics.

IBM South Africa GM Abraham Thomas says the four main focus areas for the facility are mobility, cloud computing, social media and analytics. “The facility will be open to anyone who wants to build solutions for IT companies, including independent software vendors in South Africa.”

The Johannesburg facility is also home to IBM’s Intelligent Operating Centre, a cloud-based system to help cities run “smartly” by providing city governments and utilities with a central command centre for use of predictive analytics to enhance efficiency and manage operations.

IBM South Africa's Intelligent Operating Centre

IBM South Africa’s Intelligent Operating Centre

Public sector leaders can see the city’s command centre in action in a simulated or live environment, helping them see how such systems can benefit the cities they run, says Thomas.

“Our investment in this centre is in line with our strategy to underpin growth in South Africa’s IT sector and to support the use of advanced technology in public sector service delivery and commercial business growth, particularly African expansion,” says Abraham.

IBM says its new test and demonstration environment will cut the cost and complexity of assessing IT solutions.  — (c) 2014 NewsCentral Media

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