IBM opened its next- generation technology centre – the IBM Client Centre- in Johannesburg on the 29th of January 2014. Located at IBM South Africa’s offices in Sandton, the IBM Client Centre expands on the work of the African Innovation Centre, and offers hands-on access to advanced technologies in cloud, data, mobility and social business in a variety of industry and client environments.
The Centre houses IBM Smarter Cities technology, including the IBM Intelligent Operations Center, which is integral to the center's efforts to help the region’s IT businesses, developers, entrepreneurs, venture capitalists and academics drive innovation and growth.
As part of efforts to build South Africa’s reputation as a hub for business and technology solution innovation, IBM is working to support and develop an ecosystem of IT professionals in South Africa including:
- Academia: Partnerships with 10 Universities across South Africa focus on creating advanced educational and training environments. With this tudents and professors have access to advanced IT coursework, training materials and software for use in the classroom. Bringing the latest enterprise technology and challenges into the classroom, students will be better prepared to meet the advanced IT and business needs of the region. The Client Centre will now offer the academic community access to “touch and feel” these advanced technologies.
- Entrepreneurs: Working closely with partners in the innovation and venture community, IBM is supporting local startup companies and entrepreneurs to drive innovation and help get new solutions into the global marketplace though and extensive Golbal Entrepreneur Programme. A showcase of talent support is run in an annual SmartCamp event, which provides mentoring, networking and resources to startups from across South Africa. The Client Centre will now offer the start up community regular and on-going workshop and mentor programmes.
- Venture Capitalists & Incubators: Deepening support of the venture community, through ongoing workshops and meetings, IBM sees the Client Centre as a tool to work more closely with the growing local venture capital community and local incubators and accelerators to identify and support entrepreneurs and startup companies.
- IT Companies: Technical workshops, one-on-one support from IBM experts and access to software and hardware for testing are helping local IT companies develop offerings and better meet client demands. With a larger capacity in the Client Centre IBM Business Partners are set to benefit significantly from the resources at the IBM Cleint Center.
The IBM Client Centre incorporates 3 classrooms, 5 work rooms, 2 executive briefing room, a larger open networking and planning area, several projects rooms and a showcase server room with the full portfolio of IBM’s cutting edge cloud infrastructure and appliances.Important enhancements to the Centre include a live testing environment, where ISVs, partners and potential customers can experience our advanced solutions and execute proof of concepts.
The South Africa Center joins a worldwide network of 40 other IBM Innovation Centers in 33