IBM takes analytics drive to China with new center

IBM announced a China business analytics center whose clients will include the government

IBM announced on Tuesday a business analytics center in Beijing that will serve clients including the Chinese government.

The announcement marks IBM's growing drive to expand in the business analytics market worldwide. IBM last week said it would acquire SPSS, a Chicago-based analytics software specialist, whose tools mine historical data to help companies predict future trends and find ways to enhance their efficiency.

IBM has also announced similar centers for business analytics products in Berlin and Tokyo in the last two months. It will also open centers in London, New York and Washington, D.C., making the China center the only one in an emerging market, it said in a statement.

The China center will at first focus on products aimed at traffic, water and electrical grid management, IBM said. Some of the analytics products will be offered to help China manage its economic stimulus plan, which includes a 4 trillion yuan (US$585 billion) spending package announced late last year. IBM will open more business analytics centers in China in the future, it said.

IBM launched the China center because of the country's growing economic development, it said. The Beijing center will employ up to 300 consultants, mathematicians and software specialists at first and recruit or retrain up to 300 more as demand grows, it said.

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