IBM signs IT services deal with Whirlpool

by Editor 1/29/2009 4:33:00 PM
IBM has signed a multi-year information technology services deal with home appliances giant Whirlpool Corporation. The IT firm will provide Whirlpool with global infrastructure services in more than 40 countries. The agreement was signed on December 31, 2008 with services commencing June 1, 2009.

The IT services included in the agreement are global standardization of processes, enhanced speed of delivery as well as flexibility and scalability, which will allow Whirlpool to improve and better align its IT operations with its evolving business needs.

IBM will also provide Whirlpool with mainframe, server, storage, network, desk side support and help desk services.

"The relationship with IBM supports our strategic roadmap by providing standardized infrastructure processes backed by IBM's industry expertise. We expect these changes will allow Whirlpool Global Information Systems to more quickly flex to changing business conditions and improve the quality of service we provide to our businesses," said Kevin Summers, Corporate Vice President & Global Chief Information Officer, Whirlpool Corporation.

"IBM's strong relationship with Whirlpool is the result of true collaboration over many years," said John Goode, IBM vice president, Electronics and Manufacturing Industries. "We worked closely with Whirlpool to develop an IT solution that meets their business goals. The new agreement will help the company's IT environment become more efficient, secure, reliable and simply easier to manage."

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Boston Consulting Group hired to restore Satyam clients' confidence

by Editor 1/29/2009 4:30:00 PM
Boston Consulting Group (BCG) has been hired to help Satyam Computer Services' board restore the confidence of its clients, investors and staff. A team of three senior BCG professionals will work closely with Satyam leaders and provide the Indian company with management consulting services.

Satyam board member Deepak Parekh said: "An important point to note is that they will not be charging Satyam any fees for their services and this reflects on their commitment to the task on hand.”

"Our focus and our goal here is to shore up and increase the confidence of the different players in that company,” said James Abraham, partner at BCG. “Our focus is going to be work with these three groups (investors, clients and employees) to shore up their continuing confidence in that company, because the core capability has not been destroyed. Our core is actually to make sure that the management structure that operates and runs that company stays intact and the customer confidence remains.”

Earlier this week, the Satyam leadership reassured their employees saying that January salaries would be paid on time. The six executives serving on Satyam’s board also said that they have made a shortlist of candidates for the positions of chief executive and chief financial officer.

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CMC appoints leading defence expert, reaches agreement with Detica

by Editor 1/29/2009 4:27:00 PM
CMC Partnership, the management consulting firm recently named the fastest-growing steadfast in the financial and business services sector in Wales, has appointed a leading defence industry expert to its government board after being given an important role in the reorganisation of the Ministry of Defence.

The Welsh consultancy is a partner in the SCS ICS Alliance, employed by the Ministry to help deliver strategic changes in its operations.

CMC has also reached an agreement with Detica, the contract owner and world’s leading information intelligence specialist, to deliver business management and support services to the Ministry.

“The pace of change inside of the Ministry of Defence is accelerating and CMC will be required to provide timely and effective specialist support in change, advertisement and project management," said Richard Carter, the systems engineering and organisational growth expert who is responsible for managing contracts and enlarging CMC’s business in the defence sector. ''Helping the MoD reshape itself to better give what is required in our increasingly complex and security- focused world is a vital role and I am very pleased to be able to link my experience with CMC’s in this field.”

CMC director Rhiannon Cooke added: “Richard has had a highly successful career in the defence, IT and banking worlds, including the security and aerospace sectors and we are delighted he has chosen to connect our team at this exciting time.”

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SAP, IBM sign deal with leading retailer

by Editor 1/29/2009 4:25:00 PM
IT services leaders IBM and SAP have announced an agreement with Marks & Spencer (M&S) to implement a suite of SAP Retail applications.

The programme aims to provide M&S with accurate business data and robust core processes to enable business improvement initiatives in cost and operating efficiencies. Specifically, the programme will improve stock visibility and management of information, while increasing process efficiency which M&S believes will enhance the customer experience and drive greater control over net margin.

Marks & Spencer Director of IT & Logistics, Darrell Stein, says: "We selected IBM and SAP after an extensive assessment of the market. In addition to strong retail credentials, we felt there was also a strong cultural alignment. In order to provide the very best customer service, we need to be flexible and agile to their changing needs. The SAP solution, implemented by IBM, will allow us to do that."

Protecting the environment is also considered by the IBM programme, and recommendations have been provided to ensure all aspects are aligned with 'Plan A,' M&S' 100-point eco plan. For example, the increased accuracy of business data will help M&S monitor and report its environmentally friendly activities.

"IBM is committed to helping retailers deliver smarter solutions which drive operational excellence, demand-driven merchandising and supply chain processes," said Simon Rabone, Associate Partner, Retail, IBM Global Business Services. "IBM's retail expertise and ongoing relationship with M&S will help the retailer develop new innovative ways to add value to their business and drive down operational costs."

IBM will draw on its organisation, process and technology expertise to provide end-to-end programme management, including change management and business process consulting services. SAP will provide its leading Industry Solution for Retail, a suite of business applications designed specifically to meet the unique requirements of large and sophisticated retailers.

"As retailers strive to grow their businesses, many are looking towards international expansion and extending into new retail formats. The execution of these strategies needs to be underpinned by adaptable solutions that can drive out the anticipated benefits. SAP has a proven track record in food, convenience and general merchandise retailing and we are delighted that M&S has joined the growing list of retailers that are selecting SAP to support their growth ambitions," said Tom Fischer, Retail Divisional Manager, SAP UK & Ireland.

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UK IT deals defy wider downturn

by Editor 1/27/2009 4:07:00 PM
UK information technology firms have gone largely unfazed by the wider downturn in business takeovers and consolidations. The IT firms reported that the value of transactions in the IT sector has increased, writes

IT transactions leapt to £16 billion in 2008, a 10 percent rise on 2007, according to the numbers from PricewaterhouseCoopers. The results also show that UK firms are buyers or sellers in a third of all mergers and acquisitions in the IT sector.

The most favourable targets for takeover were IT firms that specialize in the public sector, such as Detica (acquired by BAE) and Civica (bought by 3i). PwC analysts say that government contracts offered suitors “reliable forward earnings visibility.”

UK IT firms will continue to be acquired by foreign companies in 2009, much like Axon was acquired by HCL. Ovum analysts say that expanding Indian IT firms can be expected to offer takeover bids to IT outfits in the UK that are seen as “focused, fast-growing, high-value and close to customers.”

Find IT consulting jobs on our IT job board.

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IT recruitment down 24 percent

by Editor 1/27/2009 4:05:00 PM
IT recruitment dropped by 24 percent in the last quarter of 2008. According to a research by Salary Services Limited (SSL), the number of IT jobs being advertised fell from 129,672 in the third quarter to 98,173 jobs in the last quarter.

London jobs have also fallen 45 percent since the beginning of 2008.

“Needless to say this reduction in demand is starting to feed through to pay levels with advertised salaries remaining at the same level as last year. The first time this has happened since 1992,” SSL research director George Molyneaux said in a statement.

Browse and apply for the latest consultant jobs at

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IBM builds Cloud Computing Environments for six universities

by Editor 1/27/2009 3:55:00 PM
IBM has announced it is working with six universities to leverage IBM Blue Cloud solutions to speed up projects and research initiatives that were once constrained by time, limited or unavailable resources, or overloaded IT systems.

The Qatar Cloud Computing Initiative, driven by three universities, will open its cloud infrastructure to local businesses and industries to test applications and complete various projects, including seismic modeling and the exploration for oil and gas.

  • Another university, the University of Pretoria, is using cloud computing to test the development of drugs to slow the progression of serious illnesses in Africa.
  • In addition, IBM is also working with The Higher Education Alliance for Leadership Through Health (HEALTH Alliance) in East Africa and Kyushu University in Fukuoka, Japan to use cloud computing.

Carnegie Mellon University in Qatar, Qatar University, Texas A&M University at Qatar

One of the first projects to bring cloud computing to the Middle East, the Qatar Cloud Computing Initiative, is operational and initially located at Carnegie Mellon University in Qatar. Carnegie Mellon University in Qatar, Qatar University, and Texas A&M University at Qatar will collaborate on this environment, along with a community of industry experts, researchers and clients, to develop a cloud solution to help solve industry problems.

“We are very excited to be working with IBM on creating the first cloud computing platform in the Middle East,” said Associate Professor Dr. Majd F. Sakr at Carnegie Mellon University in Qatar. “This will help us realize our vision of developing, evaluating, and extending a cloud computing infrastructure in Qatar to target regional applications and projects to help advance research.”

Among the many anticipated uses of the Qatar Cloud Computing Center for advanced research include search, data mining, scientific modeling and simulation, computational biology, and financial modeling and forecasting. In addition, five pilot application projects have been identified to focus on:

  • Seismic modeling and exploration for oil and gas Arabic language web search engine
  • Test and migrate various applications using Hadoop / MapReduce programming methods
  • Create curriculum to teach cloud computing at universities

“This collaboration will support the Secure and Reliable Server-Aided Computation project from Qatar University, which are techniques businesses can use to outsource computationally intensive tasks to a server in a secure way,” said Dr. Qutaibah Malluhi, Head of Computer Science and Engineering Department, Qatar University. “Engaging with IBM and leveraging their expertise will help us work with government and business agencies in Qatar to outsource their computations to a high-end data center without worrying about data confidentiality.”

The development of this cloud computing center will be based on a phased approach. Initially, the universities will collaborate with IBM on building the infrastructure. Next, they will collaborate on developing applications that will leverage the Hadoop programming model as a first step in improving the local knowledge of this new programming model.

“We are looking forward to working with IBM on pioneering cloud computing research in Qatar and the Middle East,” said Texas A&M University at Qatar Professor Hussein Alnuweiri. “Our research is focused on developing methods for coordinating and scheduling multiple task streams on the cloud computing infrastructure. These methods will provide the main enabling technology for mapping large-scale and time-critical industrial and commercial applications into the cloud.”

University of Pretoria, South Africa

The second new client, the Computational Intelligence Research Group at the University of Pretoria, will use cloud computing for next-generation medical research. Through this initiative, students will find ways to slow the progression of serious illnesses by studying drug absorption rates and protein structure folding of a person’s DNA once introduced to a certain type of medication.

Not only are students taking part in research to help better the health and wellness of society, but the cloud computing solution also enables the students to better manage their projects and workloads. In the past, students did not have dedicated hardware to run research projects, and it was impossible for multiple students to reliably run workloads together on one computer. In addition, the students also had to manually collect experimental data results themselves due to limited data management applications availability.

As expected, cloud research times were reduced from weeks to just days, and multiple variations of research tests are available in the cloud solution in order to draw statistically accurate results.

"For decades, clients have turned to IBM to integrate new technologies and computing paradigms into their operations – in recent years Linux, open source and the Internet," said Willy Chiu, Vice President, IBM Cloud Labs. "We're thrilled to be a part of projects like these that not only make organizations more efficient, but move the needle forward for the world."

The Higher Education Alliance for Leadership Through Health (HEALTH Alliance), East Africa

The HEALTH Alliance, a consortium of seven universities, is working with IBM and industry experts to extend education through virtual computing labs that students access remotely. Through this cloud, students of the Alliance will have access to the most advanced educational materials, select software applications, and computing and storage resources, without incurring the expense of maintaining and powering full computing environments.

Additionally, while leveraging the IBM Cloud Computing Center in South Africa as an incubator, IBM is helping the Alliance create a solution that will run a cloud computing center without having to actually house the center initially. IBM is partnering with rSmart to deploy Sakai, an open source learning management system, that once powered by Linux on an IBM System z mainframe and IBM Tivoli Services Automation Manager, will provide Sakai learning management services from the IBM South Africa Cloud Computing Center for the HEALTH Alliance to use.

The goal for the HEALTH Alliance cloud solution is to migrate from the South Africa Cloud Computing Center to an on-site cloud hosted at one of the seven participating universities over time, establishing a showcase cloud computing solution aimed at educating the next generation of healthcare leaders and impacting social outcome. The HEALTH Alliance, dedicated to promoting the strategic use of technology in public health training, plans to establish a Public Healthcare Center of Excellence, designed to provide Sub-Saharan Africa readily available healthcare and education services.

The universities included in the Alliance include universities in Kenya, Jimma University, Ethiopia; University of Kinshasa, Democratic Republic of Congo; Muhimbili University of Health and Allied Sciences, Tanzania; and Makerere University, Uganda. The Alliance, legally registered in Uganda, is led by Dr. William Bazeyo, Deputy Dean of Makerere University School of Public Health (MUSPH). For more information on the Alliance’s activities, visit

Kyushu University, Fukuoka, Japan

Finally, students at Kyushu University will take part in hands-on classes to help them understand the cloud computing management system and design applications and cloud infrastructures that can run extremely compute-intensive jobs using thousands of computers at once. As cloud computing gains traction across multiple industries, it is vital that workers entering the market understand how to leverage this new computing paradigm.

More so, students are currently taking part in Societal Information System Engineering classes, which are advanced courses that foster highly skilled IT engineers to thrive once entering the global workforce. With one-on-one collaboration with outside engineers from key enterprises, students are nurtured with high ethical standards based on the clear understandings of society’s positioning of information and communication technology.

Some objectives of the Societal Information System Engineering course include:

  • Learn the unique skills needed to work with the research development of software
  • Obtain foresight about long-term changes in social conditions and learn how to develop information technology accordingly
  • Nurture leaders who take lead roles in business

The cloud computing environment at Kyushu University has been operational since November of 2008.

IBM has supported the evolution of cloud computing through a number or research, software, hardware and services initiatives, spanning many years. With 13 cloud computing centers around the world, IBM has worked with small organizations and very large enterprises to use this compute model to lower costs and extend new services to users. In addition, IBM has developed its own cloud for innovation, which manages more than 100,000 users today.

For more information about business-class cloud computing, please visit and for information about IBM education and university initiatives, please visit or

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IT survey - most important skills in IT management

by Editor 1/23/2009 3:03:00 PM
Hays IT has revealed that more than one in four Heads of IT and Chief Information Officers (CIOs) are concerned that their IT departments do not have the right blend of people and technical skills needed to cope with today's changing business landscape. The information was revealed in a new survey of senior technology professionals conducted by Hays IT.

Leadership and technical knowledge are the most important skills sought by hiring managers, which re-affirms the requirement for individuals who can inspire, influence and motivate. The need for senior and middle IT management to influence decision making and communicate their knowledge to non-technical stakeholders has never been greater, especially in the current climate where cost control and productivity gains are so important.

Over half of survey respondents (54%) cited the ability to simplify IT jargon as the most important skill they are looking for in their senior managers, followed by the ability to apply IT strategy to the benefit of the business, which 40% of survey respondents cited as a key skill. The majority of respondents (59%) agreed that IT has a very significant role to play in business strategy with 44% believing it to be important commercially.

James Lloyd-Townshend, Managing Director of Hays IT, noted: "People tend to automatically associate strong technical skills with IT professionals. But as our survey shows, people and communication skills are equally, if not more, important than industry knowledge, particularly at the senior end of IT jobs market."

The abiding message from employers is that IT professionals whose interpersonal skills are not up to scratch cannot simply rest on their 'technical' laurels and expect that this alone will be enough to be offered the IT job for which they have been interviewed.

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IBM unveils plans to make key collaboration tools faster, easier and universally accessible

by Editor 1/22/2009 2:05:00 PM
At the annual Lotusphere Conference, IBM unveiled its plans to make key business collaboration tools faster, easier and available anytime, anywhere. Plans include a series of partnerships with industry leaders Orange group, Samsung and Verizon Wireless; a new version of IBM's leading unified communications and collaboration solution, IBM Lotus Sametime; and intended support for Microsoft Active Sync.

The announcements with Orange, Samsung and Verizon Wireless are a key part of IBM's work to expand its collaboration sales channel to global device and telecommunications carriers. Verizon Wireless and Orange will give their mobile network customers access to IBM Lotus Notes and Domino software on their hand-held devices, expanding Lotus email access up to 85 million users across the US on the Verizon network and 113 million users across Europe on the Orange network. Both wireless carriers are certifying support for IBM Lotus Notes Traveler software, which enables wireless replication of Lotus Notes email, calendaring, and personal information management (PIM) data on select smartphones.

Leading mobile device producer Samsung, will also support IBM Lotus Notes Traveler software. This will enable millions of Samsung smartphone customers to manage their Lotus Notes email, calendars and address books anytime, anywhere.

Lotus to Support Active Sync

IBM today announced plans to support Microsoft Active Sync in a future version of Lotus Notes Traveler. This support will extend automatic synching capabilities for email and calendaring tools to a new range of popular mobile devices. This support is part of IBM's pledge to provide enterprises the choice and flexibility to select the mobile devices and carriers that best suit their needs.

Saving Businesses Time and Money, One Online Meeting at a Time

In challenging economic times, the ability to collaborate with colleagues, partners and customers from around the world without ever leaving the office is a financial necessity. With the latest version of Lotus Sametime, IBM is helping businesses save time and money by participating in online meetings quickly and easily.

Gone are the days of wasting the first 10 minutes of a meeting sharing meeting details and downloading code just to participate. The latest version of IBM Lotus Sametime features always-ready, reservation-less meetings, a zero-download Web client and the ability to add meeting participants by dragging and dropping names from the instant messaging contact list.

IBM Lotus Sametime's reservation-less online meetings mean that a person's password protected meeting room is always ready and a Web conference can be started instantly. Meeting minutes, slides and other documents can be stored in this personalized meeting room for future use. In addition, advanced audio and video features are included, allowing people to select the collaboration style best suited for the task at hand. Once recorded, these files are saved in open formats making them easy to edit and playback.

The new IBM Lotus Sametime comes with a new Web 2.0 look and feel and a redesigned Web 2.0 tool kit that makes it easy for enterprises to build key communications capabilities into their business processes. For example, IBM Lotus Sametime makes it easy for a business to include presence, instant messaging and click-to-call features on their Website. Customers with inquiries could start a conversation with one click from the company's Website. The business could reduce the costly charges of maintaining a toll free customer support line, while delivering more effective customer service.

IBM Lotus Sametime 8.5 and the new version of IBM Lotus Traveler are planned for the second half of 2009.

For more information on IBM Unified Communications & Collaboration: For more information on Lotus Traveler:

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IBM offers growing portfolio of cost-effective software

by Editor 1/22/2009 2:01:00 PM
To help customers get the most out of their information technology (IT) in challenging business conditions, IBM is offering a growing portfolio of low or no-cost software.

Designed to help small-to-medium sized businesses (SMBs) reduce the time and money associated with deploying and managing IT solutions, IBM Lotus Foundations Start 1.1 and a new offering, Lotus Foundations Branch Office, were unveiled today at Lotusphere. Lotus Foundations is IBM's hardware and software solution that helps businesses from 5 - 500 employees collaborate with tools like email, office applications, file sharing, back up and recovery.

The latest version of Lotus Foundations Start, allows customers to take advantage of existing IT investments by providing the ability to run Microsoft Windows applications within a Lotus Foundations environment. Previously announced as a pilot program with VMware, this new capability will give customers the ability to run IBM Lotus Domino, Windows and native Linux applications.

Many large organizations running Lotus Domino such as banks, professional services firms and insurance agencies have significant portions of their businesses in branch offices without on-site IT. With Lotus Foundations Branch Office, large enterprise Lotus Domino customers will be able to extend existing skills and data to remote offices quickly and efficiently. Lotus Foundations Branch Office will help large organizations reduce costs and better manage operations by supporting the sometimes complex technology needs of the branch and satellite offices with a fully integrated appliance.

Business Partners are taking note of Lotus Foundations. Lotus+911, Research In Motion (RIM) and ShoreTel have evaluated Lotus Foundations' functionality and ease-of-use, and believe it is a good platform to reach the SMB market.

IBM is working with Xerox to align Lotus Foundations and Xerox's multi-function printing devices to empower Independent Software Vendors (ISVs) and Value Added Resellers(VARs) to better support small business customers.

"Xerox's Extensible Interface Platform (EIP) enables solutions to be built that manage documents and other digital content that flow to and from our multi-function printing (MFP) devices," said Tom Durkin, director for corporate strategy, Xerox. "With Lotus Foundations, IBM has a simple and secure platform that supports document solutions that involve encoded and image information and is ideal to simplify SMB business processes. Combine Foundations and EIP and you will have a complete collaboration infrastructure in which solutions can be prototyped, developed and deployed quickly and easily to the SMB market."

Lotus Symphony Goes Mainstream

IBM Lotus Symphony, IBM's free software suite of word processing documents, spreadsheets and presentation files, has recently passed three million downloads worldwide. Available to anyone with one click at, Lotus Symphony has become one of the leading alternatives to Microsoft Office, capable of saving individuals and businesses hundreds or even thousands of dollars. Adopting Symphony can put less stress on IT budgets, which can mean more money to drive innovation and investments in human capital.

With the challenging economy, businesses are more focused on cost-effective technologies. Suame Magazine Industrial Development Organization (SMIDO) provides critical technology training to the artisans, mechanics and shop owners in the Suame Magazine section of Ghana. Suame Magazine is an engineering cluster located in Kumasi, Ghana. With more than 200,000 workers, it is the biggest industrial estate in Africa and has business activities that result in daily cash financial transactions of over $1 million US.

"We need powerful productivity tools without a high price tag," said Yaw Adu-Gyamfi, SMIDO instructor. "At an organization like SMIDO, incurring additional costs year after year is problematic and detracts from our ability to allocate funds to our long term vision and goal. Above all, the open source nature of Symphony allows us the flexibility we need to upgrade and manage the software without the hassle of licensing fees and lengthy conditions."

Organizations across business, government, education and philanthropy are finding Lotus Symphony and Lotus Foundations the easy choices as information technology and operating budgets tighten. For example, the San Miguel School of Camden New Jersey, a specialized school for at-risk adolescent boys, wanted to make the most of its non-profit budget without sacrificing the quality of its education tools. "Paying hundreds of dollars per user for office software isn't a possibility for us," said Brother Joseph Juliano of the school. "Lotus gives us the applications for our staff and student needs at much lower cost."

Lotus Symphony is also a component in two low cost software-based offerings from IBM Lotus, Lotus Foundations and the IBM Open Client (OCCS), the active ingredient in a popular Linux desktop software bundle.

Today IBM and Red Hat announced a joint initiative to help enterprise clients migrate from Microsoft-based desktops to Linux-based desktops. The initiative includes a migration package with tools such as Red Hat's TCO calculator, diagnostic kit, best practices guide, no charge cost-reduction strategy engagement, and no charge proof of concept/pilot deployment. It also includes insight on optimal uses for various client technology choices and how to harness Red Hat's heterogeneous virtualization management capability for the desktop to drive cost-efficiency and user productivity. The objective is to assist businesses in moving from higher cost platforms to Lotus on Red Hat Enterprise Linux solutions. This migration package will be delivered by joint channel Business Partners supported by IBM and Red Hat technical experts. Qualifying Business Partners in North America may apply to Red Hat for reimbursement from Red Hat for these professional services/implementation services provided to customers.

Already businesses around the world are moving to these economical solutions and driving significant savings of their planned expenditures on desktop computing. Constructora San José, a leading, privately owned construction company in Spain, chose the IBM Open Client on Red Hat for an efficient and secure way to communicate and collaborate internally and externally in real-time. This helps the company's mobile workers controlling and directing construction projects in remote locations to make fast decisions.

Web 2.0 to the Rescue

With the tightening economy, businesses are more focused than ever on enhancing customer experience and loyalty. New Web 2.0 tools from IBM not only help businesses to reduce costs and empower employees, but also to make better use of their Web sites, mobile devices and process automation for their customers.

A new Mashup Accelerator will help organizations quickly build and deploy applications that address daily business challenges. The Accelerator allows even non-technical users to build applications on the fly, reducing the development burden on IT and empowering people to pull together the information they need to get their jobs done. Likewise, a new Web 2.0 forms solution will help business users of any level streamline work and eliminate the costs and errors associated with paper production, processing and delivery. A new Mobile Accelerator enables businesses to extend their corporate portal services to mobile devices. This can help business save time and money by using the same servers to provide access to information and applications through the company intranet or extranet portal and to employees' or even customers' mobile devices.

IBM is also launching a new Web analytics initiative to help WebSphere Portal customers better capture, measure and respond to Website visitor information. Through relationships with leading Web analytics vendors, IBM is helping businesses improve the customer experience for their clients. For example, web analytics helps a major financial institution optimize the results of their offers on their portal Website. They get up-to-the-minute data on what users are doing on their site and can make immediate changes to the design to increase the conversion rate of shoppers to buyers.

IBM, Lotus, Notes, Domino, Symphony, Foundations and WebSphere are trademarks of International Business Machines Corporation in the United States, other countries or both. Other company, product and service names may be trademarks or service marks of others.

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