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IBM Opens Cloud Computing Lab

It will support Web 2.0, cloud mail and collaboration

Collaboration at Cloud Expo

IBM opened a new Hong Kong Cloud Computing Laboratory to support LotusLive cloud services. With more than 18 million client seats in its first year, IBM has established an elite team of experts to meet the demand of cloud-based collaboration services.

The news marks IBM's tenth cloud computing lab and the first lab of any major information technology vendor in Hong Kong.

The new center serves as a world class development facility for Web 2.0, cloud mail and collaboration for businesses of all sizes around the globe.

Key to IBM's development efforts worldwide for public cloud collaboration services, the lab will support the dramatic growth of cloud collaboration by governments and companies. The global cloud computing market is expected to grow at a compounded annual rate of 28 percent from $47 billion in 2008 to $126 billion by 2012, according to IBM based on various market estimates.

The services delivered by the lab will help businesses worldwide transform communications and collaboration and foster innovation while enhancing efficiency and reducing costs. IBM's LotusLive delivers a suite of collaboration and social networking services including email, instant messaging, file-sharing, Web meetings and project management starting at $3 per user per month.

A big part of IBM's mission for LotusLive is to develop public cloud collaboration services with a focus on security for enterprises and entrepreneurs alike. IBM believes that security is essential as companies consider using the cloud for business applications such as email and collaboration without the vulnerabilities demonstrated by consumer-based cloud services.

IBM is also developing hybrid solutions that feature the benefits of both on-premise and public cloud collaboration. Many businesses indicate a preference for some type of mixed environment where employees can operate in either mode, depending on their circumstances or location.

In order to accomplish this, IBM has established a cloud computing team in Hong Kong dedicated to identifying and driving best practices for its cloud messaging business in critical areas such as security, privacy and stability. Drawing on emerging market expertise, this unit represents a major expansion of IBM's Web-based mail and collaboration capabilities.

The laboratory builds on the email technology and expertise of Outblaze Limited, a Hong Kong-based company whose messaging assets were acquired by IBM earlier this year and incorporated into the Lotus brand of collaboration services. The laboratory now serves as a major development lab for LotusLive, an integrated suite of cloud-based collaboration solutions.

The opening ceremony was officiated by Mr. John C. Tsang, Financial Secretary, Hong Kong Special Administrative Region, Dominic Tong, General Manager, IBM China/Hong Kong Limited, Dr. Matthew Wang, Vice President, IBM China Development Laboratory and Asia Pacific North Cluster Laboratories, Mr. Duncan Warren Pescod, JP, Permanent Secretary for Commerce and Economic Development (Communications and Technology), and Ir. Dr. Hon. Samson Tam, Legislative Councillor of the Information Technology Functional Constituency.

Speaking at the official opening, Dominic Tong, General Manager, IBM China/Hong Kong Limited, said: "As the first cloud computing laboratory in Hong Kong to serve as a global resource for Cloud-based collaboration services, the laboratory marks a milestone for IBM and for the information technology (IT) industry in Hong Kong."

"The opening of the laboratory demonstrates Hong Kong's advantages as a global hub for world-class information technology and online services and we are delighted that it aligns with the government's agenda of developing Hong Kong into a center of excellence in innovation and technology," said Mr. Tong.

As part of the IBM China Development Laboratory (CDL), IBM's largest with over 5,000 developers to date, the new laboratory will be able to draw upon the resources and expertise of CDL and IBM's world-leading global research and development organization for its growth and development.

"Strategically located near emerging growth markets, we expect that the new laboratory and IBM's LotusLive platform will play an important role in helping clients here and around the world to take advantage of the growth in Web 2.0 collaboration," said Dr. Matthew Wang, Vice President, IBM China Development Laboratory and Asia Pacific North Cluster Laboratories. "IBM intends to increase its investment in the laboratory and recruit more talent to capture this huge global opportunity."

The IBM Cloud Computing Laboratory in Hong Kong is a development and services center, focusing on LotusLive messaging development, testing, technical support and services delivery. The core team has rich experience in architecting and operating secure, scalable and reliable SaaS messaging platforms.

More Stories By Salvatore Genovese

Salvatore Genovese is a Cloud Computing consultant and an i-technology blogger based in Rome, Italy. He occasionally blogs about SOA, start-ups, mergers and acquisitions, open source and bleeding-edge technologies, companies, and personalities. Sal can be reached at hamilton(at)sys-con.com.

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