IBM to invest $100 mn in mobile research

IT major IBM anounced on Wednesday that it plans to shift US$100 million investment over the next five years into a major research effort that aims to advance mobile services and capabilities for businesses and consumers worldwide.

Through this effort IBM is aiming to drive new intelligence into the underpinnings of the mobile web to create new efficiencies in business operations and people's daily lives, said a press release.

The three focus areas for IBM's research investment are: emerging market mobility, mobile enterprise enablement, and enterprise end-user mobile experiences.

"In today's interconnected world, mobile device are gradually becoming ubiquitous and helping us transcend many boundaries – geographical, economic, and social, among others," says Dr. Guruduth Banavar, director of IBM Research - India and global leader of the IBM Research mobile communication initiative.

He added that with high penetration simple user interface, and significant cost advantage for end users, mobile telephony holds the future of communication and exchange of information for the enterprise.

In a such project, IBM Research – India has established a pilot program that allows people, including farmers, repairmen, small business owners, and consumers, to post, retrieve or exchange timely information via voice on cellphones.

According to IBM's Institute for Business Value, the number of mobile users will have grown by 191 per cent from 2006 to 2011 to reach approximately one billion users.

"Mobility and the associated analytics will change virtually every enterprise business process," said Paul Bloom, chief technology officer, IBM Telecom Research. "It will change the relationship between enterprises and their customers, their employees and their partners."

IBM Research comprises approximately 3,000 scientists in eight major laboratories around the globe. IBM also has more than 20,000 software developers in 75 development labs in 18 countries. IBM has earned the most U.S. patents for 16 consecutive years, and five of its researchers have been the recipients of the Nobel Prize, the release added.

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