[AI] IBM says it will invest more in India this year

renuka warriar erenuka at gmail.com
Mon Feb 4 07:44:03 EST 2008


The Hindu News Update Service
     
News Update Service
Monday, February 4, 2008 : 0300 Hrs
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Business
IBM says it will invest more in India this year 

Mumbai (PTI): Betting big on India's fast growing IT security demand, global IT giant IBM is planning to increase its investments in India out of its USD
1.5 billion global security budget this year. 

IBM has chosen India as one of the three global destinations to deploy its security researchers. 

"We are gearing up to cater to the global market opportunity for security spend, which is around USD 100 billion. We are planning to increase investments
in our two software laboratories in Pune and Bangalore in 2008," IBM's Worldwide Evangelist for Security Pierre Noel told PTI. 

This investment, which would come as part of IBM's USD 1.5 billion security initiative, will fund the IT major's ongoing projects to develop new security
products in India, Noel said. 

In 2006, IBM had said that it would treble its investment to USD 6 billion by 2009 with a view to enhance its presence in the fast-growing domestic market.


With India among the leading economies in emerging markets, the country has become a favourable investment destination for global IT majors like Microsoft
and Google. 

Google made its debut as an investor in domestic venture capital funds in January last year by investing USD 3.75 million in a domestic seed-fund, which
had a total size of USD 13 million. 

While Google and Microsoft have hinted more India-centric investments, IBM is understood to have focused more on the country's security services market.


According to IBM, it has signed services deals worth USD 1.4 billion in Q4 FY08 in India and has identified the country as one of the three global destinations
to deploy IBM researchers in security initiatives, with the other two being Germany and Japan. 

"We will also deploy over 200 IBM researchers in three research labs across the world, with one of them being India, while other two being Zurich and Tokyo,"
Noel said. 

However, he declined to divulge further details about the project. 

IBM is also understood to have plans to invest in a series of marketing events, focusing on security and risk mitigation, which will target on the Indian
enterprises. 

In order to broaden its portfolio, IBM had exercised a series of acquisitions in the estimated USD 22 billion global security services market, including
the USD 1.3 billion acquisition of the US-based Internet Security Systems in 2006. 

This was followed by the acquisitions of Netherlands-based Consul Risk Management and US company Watchfire, in January and July, 2007, respectively. 

At present, IBM has two research labs in Delhi and Banglore and runs two other development labs in Pune and Bangalore, fully engaged in security-related
researches. 

As on December 31, 2007, IBM has an employee strength of nearly 73,000 in the country and the number is expected to go up in the months ahead. 

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