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Services Sciences, Management, and Engineering to teach principles, lessons learned from 75 percent of business world

IBM creates new academic curriculum to improve services innovation

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Las Vegas, 23 May 2005 — IBM announced today that it is making available to universities through the IBM Academic Initiative program a new academic curriculum designed to develop the skills required in the world's increasingly services-based economies.

The new course, called Services Sciences, Management and Engineering (SSME), has been created through close collaboration among IBM, universities, industry partners and government agencies. Through case studies of real businesses and scientific programs, particularly in information technology and business services, this course will focus on the issues involved in aligning people and technology effectively to generate value for both services providers and services clients.

This new line of curricula and resources brings IBM's higher education portfolio to over 70 course materials and more than 100 technologies. The Academic Initiative, which is designed to help educators teach students the open standards technology skills necessary to compete for the jobs of tomorrow, is currently used by universities and colleges to offer more than 2,000 courses to over 280,000 students worldwide.

"The addition of SSME curricula represents a significant expansion of the IBM Academic Initiative," said Buell Duncan, General Manager of ISV & Developer Relations and the IBM Academic Initiative. "We are going beyond teaching established skill-sets for current and emerging technologies to innovating completely new academic courses that can prepare students for the majority of jobs out there."

Services currently represent over 75 percent of the U.S. economy and are rapidly growing. Yet "services" is a broad term, encompassing everything from restaurants and hotels to doctors and lawyers. Particular opportunities exist in the IT and business consulting space, where companies are seizing new business opportunities by building more efficient IT systems, streamlining their business processes and embracing the Internet. However, there is a shortage of individuals with comprehensive knowledge of business, people and information technology — the combination most needed to provide effective services — and there are few focused efforts aimed at preparing people for this new environment or even understanding it.

"University curricula have simply failed to keep pace with the rise of services in the U.S. and other major advanced economies", said Professor Henry Chesbrough, of the Haas Business School at the University of California, Berkeley. "IBM's initiative provides a crucial impetus for a more systematic approach to research and teaching in services, which will play a vital role in getting universities to overcome their academic disciplinary boundaries that were created in a bygone era."

The goal of IBM's initiative is to create a services sector that can develop and implement technological applications to help businesses, governments and other organizations improve what they do and tap into completely new areas of opportunity. This sector will require a thorough understanding of how to create and deliver reusable assets so that services engagements can be more easily replicated and more effectively delivered. This is the foundation for SSME. This new field will bring together ongoing work in computer science, operations research, industrial engineering, business strategy, management sciences, social and cognitive sciences, and legal sciences to develop the skills required in a services-led economy.

IBM and university partners have made considerable progress over the past year in advancing SSME to the point where it is now making its way into classrooms. Among the universities leading the way are the University of California at Berkeley, Stanford University, Northwestern University, Arizona State University, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, and Georgia Institute of Technology. Most recently, IBM also met with representatives from Oxford University and the University of Warwick, two of the top business schools in the United Kingdom, to discuss the need for SSME. IBM has researchers and business consultants working closely with these universities, and others, to formally introduce SSME as a course offering. IBM has also provided faculty awards to 11 professors and has sponsored several programs and white papers.

The IBM Academic Initiative is an innovative program offering a wide range of technology education benefits from free to fee that can scale to meet the goals of most colleges and universities. IBM will work with schools that support open standards and seek to use open source and IBM technologies for teaching purposes — both directly and virtually via the Web.

For more information on the IBM Academic Initiative, visit www.ibm.com/university.

Press contact

Nicole Strachowski
Media Relations
IBM Research - Zurich
Tel +41 44 724 84 45

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