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IBM sets PH as analytics hub

By Melvin G. Calimag | Feb. 20, 2013 at 07:02pm
IBM Philippines officials, Mariels Almeda Winhoffer (right) and Delfin Jay Sabido explain the company’s initiative to build PH as smarter analytics hub in 2013 during a recent roundtable with press.


After celebrating its 75th year in the country in 2012, tech behemoth IBM is all geared up to make the big push to transform the Philippines as its global hub for smarter analytics this 2013.

Top officials, led by IBM Philippines country general manager Mariels Almeda Winhoffer, said in a recent press roundtable that the company is now accelerating efforts to build its analytics center in the country.

The tech firm has hired top engineering talent, Stanford University alumnus Delfin Jay Sabido, to lead the initiative. Last year, former top IBM head honcho Sam Palmisano visited the Philippines to formally announce the setting up of the global analytics hub in the country.

The company, however, has not disclosed the number of IT professionals it intends to hire for the project.

According to Sabido, the emergence of big data - the explosion of unstructured data coming from various sources such as social media - is creating a huge demand for IT workers who specialize on analyzing these piles of information.

Sabido said this is the reason why IBM signed an agreement last year with the Commission on Higher Education (CHEd) for the inclusion of analytics in specific college curriculum.

"In the next few years, we'll see schools adopting the analytics curriculum because it's one of the skills required for us to compete in this emerging field,"ť said Sabido, who has also headed the National Computer Center (NCC) and the Advanced Science and Technology Institute (ASTI) of the DOST.

IBM said it is also conducting talks with the Department of Education to have analytics included in the K to 12 program to allow graduates of the basic curriculum benefit in this booming area.

Victor Silvino, head of sales of IBM Philippines, said the market for smarter analytics is pegged at roughly $170 billion. "This is huge. That's why itâ's exciting times for us here at IBM,"ť he said.

For her part, Almeda Winhoffer said the smarter analytics initiative is IBM's contribution in helping the Philippines move up the food chain in the outsourcing sector and for the country not to get stuck on call center work.

Almeda Winhoffer, who marked her first year in office last January, said the focus on smarter analytics is part of the overall plan of the company to push its Smarter Planet program in the country.
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