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IBM Launches Cloud for Chinese ISVs

It's the first of its kind in the country

IBM and the city of Wuxi in China have gotten together on a cloud for Chinese ISVs that's supposed to reduce their costs, hasten the development of business applications and get them into new export markets by selling their widgetry as hosted web-based services.

It's the first of its kind in the country.

According to IBM, China is emerging as a major market of software development and outsourcing services. The country's Ministry of Industry and Information Technology claims the local software industry saw revenue of $110 billion last year, up 8.3% year-over-year. Its exports were worth $3.38 billion.



But China lacks an advanced software development platform and there's a huge skills shortage. IBM intends to do something about the former if not the latter.

Its newfangled Innovation Incubation Platform will let Chinese companies develop in a virtual computing environment.

The widgetry is part of Wuxi iPark's $17.5 million IT infrastructure investment. It was built on a software service outsourcing research project run up by IBM Research-China that was code-named Pangoo.

It includes software development, software engineering, software service technical incubation and market monitoring as well as operational and hosting services.

It integrates technology and concepts from cloud computing, software-as-a-service and software engineering-as-a-service (SEaaS).

As service subscribers, ISVs located in Wuxi iPark can leverage the platform for project incubation, development and testing. Team members located in different cities in China can share the environment. Service fees will be based on use.

Wuxi, which is in eastern China between Shanghai and Nanjing, is classified as an investment zone by the Chinese government, which wants to turn the place into a major software development center.

The industrial park there is supposed to house dozens of new software companies.

The Wuxi government expects five-eight ISVs to emerge that generate $15 million revenue annually and another 50-80 mid-sized ISVs and 200-500 small ISVs that collectively create $8.8 billion in revenue starting with $1.1 billion in 2012.

IBM's widgetry is also supposed to turn Chinese ISVs into business application service providers.

An early subscriber called Delversoft Company Ltd reportedly completed the development of a new version of its Baking Management Service (BMS) solution in six weeks. The new product is delivered as SaaS, hosted for customers on the Innovation Incubation Platform.

IBM China Research has been working directly with clients and ISVs under a so-called In-Market Research initiative to create replicable, cloud-delivered, industry-specific services in ERP, CRM and supply chain management.

For instance, IBM and Beijing eFuture Information Technology Inc have launched a SaaS solution for retail distribution that's been implemented at select Beijing Wangfujing Department Store Group stores, one of the largest retailers in China.

It lets the company's suppliers exchange business information, arrange online payments and access purchase orders. The system is expected to be fully operational throughout the company's stores in 17 cities by the end of the year. At that point the chain will be able to share supply chain information in real-time with 20,000 suppliers.

More Stories By Maureen O'Gara

Maureen O'Gara the most read technology reporter for the past 20 years, is the Cloud Computing and Virtualization News Desk editor of SYS-CON Media. She is the publisher of famous "Billygrams" and the editor-in-chief of "Client/Server News" for more than a decade. One of the most respected technology reporters in the business, Maureen can be reached by email at maureen(at)sys-con.com or paperboy(at)g2news.com, and by phone at 516 759-7025. Twitter: @MaureenOGara

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