IBM Opens Third U.S. IT Outsourcing Center In Last 18 Months

IBM Corp. recently said that it will open a new facility in Columbia, MO for customers outsourcing IT services, a move it expects will yield some 800 jobs for technical professionals, and the third such operation it has unwrapped in the past 18 months.

Officials said that the Columbia service delivery center will provide IT systems maintenance and monitoring, server systems operations and security services to customers working with the vendor's Global Technology Services operation.

Tim Shaughnessy, IBM Global Technology Services senior vice president, service delivery, said that a number of factors influenced the vendor's decision to open the center in Columbia.

"We selected Columbia for our newest facility based on several criteria, including the strong public-private partnership with the state and city, a competitive business model and the talent and skills that Missouri and the Midwest have to offer," he said.

IBM said that it will begin hiring for the new center later this summer and that it expects to be up and running sometime this fall. The company anticipates full staffing by the close of 2012.

The vendor said that it will recruit technical professionals from schools in the surrounding area and hopes to consult with educational institutions about possibly adding courses that help prepare students for IT jobs.

IBM said that it will upgrade an existing physical structure in Columbia to house the center, with the goal of earning a Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) certification, generally recognized as the standard for the design, construction and operation of high performance, so-called "green" buildings.

The vendor maintains a network of service delivery centers in some 20 countries, tasked with providing IT services and business process outsourcing to customers.

"This newest addition to our delivery center portfolio in North America is critical to IBM's ability to offer support at any level--local, regional and global--to provide the flexibility, scalability and security in solutions our clients expect," Shaughnessy said.

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