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IBM committed to 'smarter city' plan in China

By Cai Muyuan (chinadaily.com.cn)
Updated: 2010-03-26 11:14
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IBM committed to 'smarter city' plan in China

Leaders of IBM deliver speeches in IBM's China Strategy Release Conference in Beijing on March 25. 

IBM held its Forum 2010 and China Strategy Release Conference in Beijing on Thursday in a bid to introduce its "smarter city" strategy and discuss the opportunities and challenges that cities worldwide will face and its development strategies in China for the next 10 years.

"smarter city" is a complex ecosystem. In 2009, IBM exchanged opinions with mayors from 230 countries and boiled their concerns down to transportation, medical care, water resources management, energy, public services and education as well as public safety.

"By 'smarter city' strategy, we are looking to offer smart solutions to these areas in a way to raise efficiency, cut expenses and make cities more harmonious and eco-friendly," D.C.Chien, CEO of IBM Greater China Group, said at the forum.

IBM committed to 'smarter city' plan in China

Bruno Di Leo, general manager of IBM Growth Market

As for China, in order to speed up the urbanization and transformation of leading industries and boost burgeoning industries, a smart system is needed to gather information and process data to predict failures and bring down the causes, Chien said.

According to Bruno Di Leo, general manager of IBM Growth Market, in 2010, the key aspects that IBM will focus on will be business analysis and optimization, a new generation of data center and cloud computing, the growth market and "smarter planet" strategy.

IBM raised the concept of "smarter planet" in 2008, which gained recognition in the world for its research in "the internet of things" and its grasp of information technology and social development.

In 2009, IBM practiced its "smarter planet" strategy in more than 50 countries and offered 1,200 intelligent solutions to transportation, food safety, manufacturing, water resources management, energy and public services. So far, more than 25 percent of IBM's research programs are related to "smarter planet" and the proportion is expected to reach 50 percent.

According to Chien, "smarter planet" and "smarter city" are practices that refine intelligence out of mass data. The data analysis and process would determine the maneuverability of the strategy.

'smarter city', IBM's commitment to China

Chien said that the next decade is crucial for China. As the most significant emerging growth market in the world, the potential is immeasurable. In 2009, IBM held 22 forums in China and exchanged opinions and experiences with more than 200 mayors.

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As the "smarter city" strategy gains wide recognition, many cities are intending to partner with IBM. Programs such as "digital Guangdong", "healthy Chongqing" and "ecological Shenyang" are being mapped out and turned into reality.

In 2010, IBM will focus on food safety, electrical power, medical services, water resources management, transportation and service-oriented government in China, Chien said.

As a sponsor of Shanghai Expo, IBM designed an integrated information system and will provide an information-based consultation and service platform for the event. It has also participated in the construction of stadiums and set up an information accessibility network to help people with sight and hearing challenges experience the Expo.

Di Leo told chinadaily.com.cn that IBM has decided to base its growth markets unit in the world's fastest growing economy: China. "IBM continues to invest in and expand here what we call global delivery centers in cities including Chengdu, Shenzhen, Dalian and Shanghai. Last year we added 31 percent more new jobs to these centers. In 2010 we intend to increase jobs by another 37 percent," he said.

According to Di Leo, IBM set up many of its major research labs in China. IBM is also expanding its physical presence throughout the country. In 2009, IBM had 27 branch offices in cities and regions primarily in eastern China. In 2010, more offices will be added to other regions.