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IBM Launches Global Boot Camps to Help Companies Tackle Big Data Challenges

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New IT skills initiative showcases underlying technologies of Watson. 

IBM has launched a global skills initiative to educate clients, business partners and college students how to use IBM business analytics and information management software, and many of the underlying technologies of the Watson computing system to capture information from new sources and use it to create business opportunities.

The skills initiative provides IT professionals no-charge access to 1,200 on-site skills boot camps at client, partner and university locations worldwide, at 38 IBM Innovation Centers and online at DB2University.com.

The new initiative comes on the heels of the IBM Jeopardy! challenge, where the IBM Watson system demonstrated a breakthrough capability to understand natural language while competing against human contestants. Watson used a number of advanced technologies, many of which are already available commercially from IBM.

Businesses today are looking for disruptive technologies like Watson to help them capitalize on the growing volume, variety and velocity of information known as "Big Data." This includes the massive amount of public information available on the Web, information generated by sensors, mobile devices, social networks, cloud computing and public sources of information not integrated into a company's existing information management platform.

Making sense of Big Data requires a new set of skills that many IT professionals do not possess today. The skills boot camps will cover topics such as Big Data, analytics, data management, and open source technologies including Hadoop and Eclipse tools.

More organizations are moving to IBM software in support of Big Data growth initiatives. In 2010, more than 1,000 Oracle Database customers chose DB2 instead. Clients are moving to IBM Software to tackle Big Data challenges, reduce the cost of managing data, and shift IT resources to growth investments. At the same time, IBM has invested more than $14 billion in analytics acquisitions, has assembled 8,000 analytics consultants with industry expertise, and opened a network of analytics centers of excellence around the world.

Marist College

Marist College based in Poughkeepsie, New York, is a recognized leader in equipping its students with green technology skills, and in turn helping future employers find new ways to reduce their carbon footprint. According to Roger Norton, dean of the School of Computer Science and Mathematics, Watson demonstrated a new standard for an energy-efficient computing system that today's companies can use to become more green. Big Data presents a new challenge for industry and academia to rethink the way they see IT. Marist is expanding on its initiatives working with IBM to offer more courses in DB2, InfoSphere BigInsights, and analytics software to improve the utilization of data centers and analyze untapped data generated from sources such as Facebook and sensors.

MGM College of Engineering and Technology

MGM College of Engineering and Technology, under MGM Group based in Maharashtra, India, recognizes all companies face the growing amounts of data and the challenge to quickly turn that into a competitive advantage. MGM recently launched on-campus workshops on DB2 for their engineering students and faculty. Currently, more than 600 students and faculty members are certified and trained on the latest DB2 features and other IBM technologies. In fact, MGM recently migrated its technology lab from Oracle Database to DB2.

"IBM is bringing real world industry experience to students to keep them in touch with emerging technologies and IT trends such as Big Data," said Professor Nareshkumar Harale, head of Computer Engineering, MGM College of Engineering and Technology. "When universities and businesses collaborate, they build the next generation of skilled information technology leaders to create new opportunities, fuel economic growth, and solve challenges that can improve the way we live."

Haycarb

Sri Lankan-based Haycarb, a manufacturer of activated carbon products and provider of a range of purification solutions, is in the process of deploying a leading ERP solution. In a continued effort to rein in IT and energy-related costs, Haycarb recently participated in an IBM Skills Bootcamp to learn about the migration capabilities of DB2 database software.

"We had this idea that migrating from one database software to another would eat up a lot of time, money and resources. Instead of having to go off site to take the course, IBM came to us, tailoring the course based on our existing skills and building upon that," said Chinthaka Abeykoon, head of IT at Haycarb. "It is extremely vital to stay current on these technologies that address challenges such as taming growing amounts of data and ensuring database security."

Perficient

IBM Business Partner Perficient has played a key role in working with IBM to develop the content of IBM's Skills Bootcamps. According to Managing Director Matt Castle, clients are looking to their IT teams to tackle Big Data challenges. IBM's investment in helping IT professionals learn new skills helps clients bridge the two worlds of Internet-scale data and data generated within an organization to create a single view of all that information. For example, businesses are looking to social media to get a better understanding of consumer preferences. At the same time, all that data generated still needs to be stored, cleansed and analyzed in a data warehouse.

"Companies are amassing up to petabytes of information during peak hours of operations, and they see an opportunity to use this data to gain new insights into their customers and get ahead of the competition," said Arvind Krishna, general manager of IBM Information Management. "Uncovering insights hidden among data in existing IT systems, and outside of the firewall in social networks, on clouds and from mobile devices, requires today's IT professionals to possess new skills. As a result, we expect to see more companies move from Oracle to IBM software to capitalize on Big Data opportunities, and shift the economics from wasteful IT spending to growth investments. Our goal this year is to help 10,000 Oracle Database professionals expand their skills with IBM Software to more rapidly achieve their business goals."

Under the new initiative, IT professionals and students get hands on training to learn:

  • How to use InfoSphere, DB2, Informix, Optim and Guardium software to manage and integrate data flowing across and into their organization
  • "Big Data" management and analysis skills including data federation, integration and warehousing techniques using InfoSphere BigInsights, Streams, Warehouse and Information Server software
  • Advanced skills such as data management planning, data governance, quality and security strategies
  • Where to take advantage of free exams and testing to become certified on IBM Software in support of career advancement
  1. For more information on IBM's Big Data initiative, visit http://www-01.ibm.com/software/ebusiness/jstart/bigdata
  2. For more information on IBM's boot camps, visit http://www.ibm.com/developerworks/data/bootcamps
  3. For more information on the DB2 Academic Certification program, visit http://www.ibm.com/developerworks/data/events/db2academiccertification/index.html

IBM is a leading global hybrid cloud and AI, and business services provider, helping clients in more than 175 countries capitalize on insights from their data, streamline business processes, reduce costs and gain the competitive edge in their industries. Nearly 3,000 government and corporate entities in critical infrastructure areas such as financial services, telecommunications and healthcare rely on IBM's hybrid cloud platform and Red Hat OpenShift to affect their digital transformations quickly, efficiently, and securely. IBM's breakthrough innovations in AI, quantum computing, industry-specific cloud solutions and business services deliver open and flexible options to our clients. All of this is backed by IBM's legendary commitment to trust, transparency, responsibility, inclusivity, and service.

For more information, visit: www.ibm.com.

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