IBM looks to future, sets up new business unit

Looking into the future of telecoms and, in particular, communications convergence, IBM has set up a new business unit aimed at fine-tuning and updating IBM's strategies...



Looking into the future of telecoms and, in particular, communications convergence, IBM has set up a new business unit aimed at fine-tuning and updating IBM's strategies.

Key aim of the new Integrated Communications Services unit is to focus on delivering innovative network and communication service products that are asset-based, replicable and standardised for all types of business.

The new Integrated Communications Services products are the first step in IBM's strategy to deliver traditional labour-based technology services in a manner more similar to the delivery of technology products. As today's environment comprises converged communications and expanding wireless solutions, IBM's Integrated Communications Services will design, implement, manage and optimise clients' communications networks, environments and applications.

One key strength of the arrangement is that IBM already holds key strategic relationships with major suppliers and network service providers worldwide, including Cisco AT&T, Qwest, Sprint, Avaya and Symbol. The result means capabilities in integrating and managing complex multiple-vendor projects. What is more, IBM's Integrated Communications Services are intended to help clients take full advantage of the convergence of IT and communications.

IBM breaks its Integrated Communications Services unit down as follows

  • Converged Communications Services, helping clients connect, communicate, and collaborate by taking advantage of the convergence of voice, video and data over Internet Protocol (IP) communication standards;
  • Networking Strategy and Optimisation Services, aligning clients' networking and communications environment to business objectives, key initiatives and requirements;
  • Mobility, Wireless and RFID Services, assisting clients define strategy and also design, integrate, implement and manage their mobility, wireless and RFID environments; and
  • Network Integration and Management Services. These help clients to re-engineer, refresh and transition their network infrastructures to reduce costs, integrate new technologies, expand to new locations, increase performance/resiliency/availability, and support key business initiatives.

Two new standardised service products will be offered through Converged Communications Services:

  • Network Convergence Services. Clients can purchase this product to analyse readiness for communication networks that support data, voice and video. Almost any future application will take advantage of a converged network, eg, unified messaging, IP contact call centre, and voice, video and web conferencing. Working with IBM, clients can design, deploy and manage converged communication ready networks anywhere, anytime; and
  • IP Telephony Services. Clients can purchase this service product to design, deploy and manage IP telephony infrastructure solutions in order to reduce the costs of managing and maintaining separate voice and data equipment and networks. Working with IBM, businesses can deploy IP Telephony Services to increase the productivity of their employees.

As an example of what is intended for Integrated Communications Services, IBM believes it can help banks achieve greater profitability via enhanced customer service and access, faster integration of infrastructures gained in mergers and acquisitions, and improved business processes including secure transactions and cost-effective regulatory compliance.

In retailing IBM claims it can help make the entire buying and selling experience for consumers more satisfying by creating networking and communications environments that make information available on demand.

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