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IBM and ISB in Research Partnership to Jointly Assess Competitiveness of Services Sector in Asia


HYDERABAD, NEW DELHI and BANGALORE, INDIA - May 2008: IBM (NYSE: IBM) and the Indian School of Business (ISB) today announced the signing of the first Open Collaborative Research agreement in Asia aimed at improving the competitiveness of the services sector in the region. This research aims to help companies who want to redesign their project management structure, reduce attrition, and move high performance groups up the value chain.

The research will be led by the Centre for Global Logistics and Manufacturing Strategies (GLAMS) at the ISB and IBM’s India Research Laboratory. ISB is the first Business School in Asia to work with IBM on this collaborative research.

The joint research will study mathematical modeling techniques and social networks to enable organizations to improve the way people work. The team will use tools such as innovative modeling and forecasting techniques, data mining, social network analysis and stochastic optimization.

Speaking on the necessity of research for the service sector, M Ram Mohan Rao, Dean, ISB, said, “The services sector contributes to over 50 percent of the GDP of the Indian economy and is closely integrated with the agriculture and manufacturing sector. Through our collaborative research with IBM, I hope we will be able to make substantial contributions towards making the Indian economic growth more inclusive.”

Under IBM’s Open Collaborative Research program, faculty and students can freely conduct joint research without concern over Intellectual Property management issues. The new OCR program will not only help advance the state of the art in services software but also serve as a great illustration of the benefits of collaborative innovation within the open source community.

“At IBM, we define innovation as the intersection of invention and insight. Today, innovation is a dual-value proposition: a balanced foundation of open and proprietary collaborations. Innovation is needed to address the world’s greatest challenges and opportunities; and the responsibility must be shared among industry, government and academia. The coming together of IBM and ISB in an important step in this direction,” said Dr. Guruduth Banavar, Director, IBM India Research Laboratory.

An important benefit of this research is that its results will be openly available for use by any and all universities, companies, and institutions. The research collaboration is free from the constraints of the usual corporate-sponsored research at universities that typically involves lengthy negotiations over intellectual property rights.

Speaking on the diverse applicability of this research, Professor N Viswanadham, Executive Director -- GLAMS, ISB, said, “IBM and ISB research teams will develop new ways to improve the delivery of service, not just taking into account how the service gets delivered to a client, but how that delivery can be improved through better collaboration and communication of all the people involved in the transaction. The applications of this research will be widespread; from medium or large IT company to a multi-billion B2B global trader, all can benefit from this study.”

The Services Sector is the largest part of the economy of developed countries and the fastest growing sectors in developing countries. Services research is multi-disciplinary and many variations exist today within the domains of management, operations research, and economics to name a few. While most of the existing work has focused on business-to-consumer services, the focus of this research is on business-to-business services.


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