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IBM and Business Partners Collaborate to Further Mainframe Education

October 3, 2008

IBM (NYSE: IBM) today announced that it is collaborating with Business Partners and universities to launch a jointly developed scholarship program for students focused on furthering mainframe education. The new program is designed to support increased demand in education and training in mainframe and large enterprise computing.

The new initiative — called the IBM Destination z Enterprise Computing Scholarship Program — will allow students to receive scholarship funding for educational courses that will increase their technical skills in mainframe computing. The program will be co-funded by IBM Business Partners who are increasing their investments in the mainframe. In just the past eight months, the number of new partners aligned to the System z has increased by more than 40%.

The program, which will be formally launched later this year in the US, will offer students the opportunity for scholarship funding for such classes including “z/OS Basics: Introduction to the New Mainframe,”"Linux on System z,” and “WebSphere Application Server for z/OS,” that are being taught at membership colleges and universities.

The increase in rising energy costs and environmental concerns are putting increased pressure on growing computer data centers that process everything from banking and retail transactions to managing health care records. While clients are looking for increased demand for mainframe technical expertise to support this transformation, business partners are realizing the opportunities to build and deploy new offerings to help organizations looking to transform their enterprise data centers.

The scholarship program is an opportunity funded from IBM Destination z, a multidimensional mainframe community organization dedicated to increasing the value of IBM System z mainframes for clients. IBM Business Partners already committed to the scholarship program include Mainline Information Systems, Levi Ray & Shoup, Rocket Software, Vicom Infinity as well as Universities such as Illinois State, Marist College, Minnesota State University, Syracuse University of South Carolina, and many others.

Mainframe Ecosystem Momentum Builds

Today’s news is in support of business partners who are increasingly building new solutions running on the mainframe. With these enhancements and increased demand comes an expanded ecosystem of ISVs, universities, clients, students and business partners all focused around the mainframe and its utilization as a way to redefine the new enterprise data center today.

For example, in just the past nine months, the number of new business partners aligned to the IBM System z mainframe has increased 40% and there has been a 55% increase in the number of mainframe education courses completed in PartnerWorld University during the same timeframe. Additionally, ISV applications built for the System z have now exceeded 4,000 with more than half of these new applications running on the Linux platform.

Today’s announcement builds on the value that IBM System z Business Partners are finding in mainframe education:

“As one of IBM’s key business partners focused on delivering mainframe offerings to clients, investing in the skills and people that are going to run these mission critical platforms is key to its success,” said Doug Harrell, Vice President of Sales, System z, Mainline Information Systems. “This new scholarship program is yet another unique way how IBM and Mainline are teaming up as part of the larger ecosystem to continue to educate the up-and-coming mainframe programmers of tomorrow.”

“We are heavily invested in the future of the IBM System z mainframe — and in working with our strong Business Partner and university channels. IBM is offering some great programs and incentives for the next generation of mainframe programmers,” said Karl Freund, Vice President, Marketing and Strategy, IBM System z.

The Destination z Enterprise Computing Scholarship Program is part of IBM’s overall Academic Initiative for the System z program. The IBM Academic Initiative for System z provides colleges and universities with educational resources to enhance the enterprise systems skilled resource base and helps students develop practical skills that enable them to find good jobs quickly upon graduation. Under the Academic Initiative for Systems z, more than 400 global universities are teaching mainframe and large enterprise computing skills today, up from 20 in 2004, and over 50,000 students have taken courses so far.

Today’s news follows on the heels of IBM’s announcement of the fourth annual “Master the Mainframe” competition, designed to familiarize students with concepts for the growing large enterprise computing industry and build mainframe skills, enabling them to become the business and IT leaders of tomorrow.

Applications for the new scholarship program will begin to be accepted on Monday, October 6. Students interested in applying for the scholarship can apply at http://www.zjournal.com/scholarship.

For more information on IBM System z, please visit: www.ibm.com/mainframe

To connect with professors, clients and students who work with the mainframe as the future of the data center, please visit the System z’s Facebook page http://www.facebook.com keyword: systemz mainframe

To read the latest industry blog on the world of the mainframe, visit http://www.mainframe.typepad.com/

 Contact information: Cary Barbour IBM Media Relations (917) 472-3564 barbour@us.ibm.com

SOURCE: IBM




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