IBM readies developer program for emerging technologies

IBM will launch a retooled program this week at its developerWorks Live! conference that is designed to attract developers building applications and services for emerging markets including grid computing, life sciences and autonomic computing.

Described as an extension of its Startup Initiative for Developers, the new Initiative for Emerging Technology Developers program includes a number of technical resources such as access to the company 17 Solution Partnership Centers (SPCs) worldwide.

Developers also will have access to IBM developerWorks program to use a range of open, standards-based tools such as Linux, XML and Java to produce applications and Web services, as well as to alphaWorks portals and assistance in bringing products to market.

"We found that the (Startup Initiative for Developers) program was so successful for finding these young firms with interesting technologies, we decided to extend the program to reach both young and well-developed firms that are building for the new and emerging business areas," said Cindy Erdman, director of IBM Strategy and Business Development in Somers, N.Y.

Since IBM launched the Startup Initiative 18 months ago, the company has screened more than 2,000 companies and has established 300 working relationships, Erdman said.

"The real value we can offer as part of this program is the relationship support. Once part of the program, they have a relationship expert that helps them put together their IBM plans. It helps them to connect the dots inside of IBM," Erdman said.

At the SPCs, programmers can have access to a number of resources to build, customize and enable e-business applications on IBM four major server hardware platforms as well as on its complete lineup of middleware applications.

Each of the 17 centers has a technical team on site to help developers with testing and porting their new products and services with the use of both IBM and non-IBM programming tools, a company spokesman said.

Some developers have found the programs to be beneficial for being able to network around inside IBM to establish contacts across groups. One such company is Altaworks, a performance management software provider based in Nashua, N.H.

"We have used the new initiative to help us navigate through IBM and develop the contacts we need to complete our product and deliver it to market," said Norm Meisner, vice president of sales for Altaworks.

Developers wanting more information about the Initiative for Emerging Technology Developers can go to http://www.ibm.com/partnerworld/developer/emerging .

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