SOURCE: IBM CORPORATION

August 22, 2005 08:01 ET

IBM and SHARE Announce a New Community for the Next Generation of Mainframe Experts

SHARE Celebrates Its 50th Anniversary and Will Work With IBM to Build Network of Mainframe Experts for the 21st Century -- The 'zNextGen'

BOSTON, MA -- (MARKET WIRE) -- August 22, 2005 -- IBM and SHARE, the world's first organization of computing professionals, today announced the creation of a new global community for students and young professionals interested in mainframe computing.

IBM and SHARE plan to make resources available to the "zNextGen" -- IT students and young professionals who wish to build their technical skills and strengthen their career paths on the mainframe. The goal is to enable students with contacts and resources to help them find jobs quickly upon graduation; support young mainframe professionals with networking opportunities; and provide a forum for experienced mainframe professionals to share knowledge with students and young professionals. Elements of the zNextGen initiative include:

--  Networking with SHARE's global membership, which represents more than
    20,000 computing specialists from the FORTUNE 500, leading universities and
    colleges, federal government organizations, and consultancies. This is
    planned to include IBM and SHARE mentoring and internship opportunities for
    zNextGen members. At its user conference in Boston this week, SHARE is
    celebrating its 50th anniversary.
    
--  A recently created mainframe community weblog contains a section
    dedicated to zNextGen members who wish to share skills, work experiences
    and connect with their peers.  Please visit: http://mainframe.typepad.com
    
--  The IBM Academic Initiative Program for the Mainframe provides
    students and professors at more than 150 universities around the world with
    hands-on access to the zSeries and System z9 mainframe, curriculum,
    industry experts, and training for students and faculty.  These academic
    programs are increasingly important as many schools and universities have
    focused on distributed computing education rather than large-systems
    architecture.
    
--  A university contest that gives students a chance to win prizes by
    completing mainframe challenges.  The Student Mainframe Contest will be run
    across the U.S. and Canada (excluding Quebec). All contestants will be
    given accounts on a z/OS hub.  No mainframe experience is necessary --
    contestants will learn mainframe skills as they progress through the
    contest.  Registration begins in early September.  For more information at
    that time, please visit: http://www.ibm.com/university/zseries
    
"As the original open source computing community, SHARE is excited to work with IBM to help provide the next generation of enterprise computing professionals the skills and connections they need to be successful in the new, more open world of Linux, Java technology, and SOA on the mainframe," said Robert Rosen, SHARE President. "As we celebrate our 50th anniversary this year, SHARE is focused on building connections between our experienced members and the 'zNextGen' to create a vibrant, creative community of users for years to come."

IBM and SHARE invite IT students, young programmers, developers and new and recently hired IBM employees, Independent Software Vendors (ISVs), and integrators interested in large systems computing to join the zNextGen at the SHARE User Events in Boston. For more information, please visit, http://www.share.org/events/Boston

"We are creating community programs to support the groundswell of interest from businesses and government agencies around what the new class of open mainframes can do," said Mike Bliss, director, IBM System z9 and zSeries. "More than ever, companies are looking to the mainframe to protect and manage the security of customer information, comply with federal regulations and reduce the complexity of their operations. Building on the increased involvement of the Linux community supporting Linux running on the mainframe, we're looking to young professionals to help drive innovation in open, large-systems computing."

IBM has pledged to help train 20,000 mainframe literate IT professionals by 2010. For more information on the young people behind the zNextGen, please visit: http://www.ibm.com/servers/eserver/zseries/newfaces/

About SHARE

SHARE is an independent, volunteer-run association providing IBM customers with user-focused education, professional networking, and industry influence. In 1955, just two years after the release of IBM's first computer, a handful of the earliest IT professionals collaborated to form SHARE. Thus came into being the world's first organization of computing professionals. While independent and financially self-sufficient SHARE maintains an extremely close relationship with IBM and its subsidiaries, as well as with other leading vendors. Over the past five decades, SHARE has become synonymous with high-quality, user-driven education and resources to make enterprise computing specialists more effective professionals. SHARE now counts more than 2,000 of IBM's top enterprise computing customers among its membership ranks. For more information on SHARE, please visit http://www.share.org

About IBM

IBM is the world's largest information technology company, with 80 years of leadership in helping businesses innovate. Drawing on resources from across IBM and key IBM Business Partners, IBM offers a wide range of services, solutions and technologies that enable customers, large and small, to take full advantage of the new era of on demand business. For more information about IBM, visit http://www.ibm.com.

IBM, eServer, zSeries and the IBM e-business logo are trademarks or registered trademarks of International Business Machines Corporation. For a list of additional IBM trademarks, please see www.ibm.com/legal/copytrade.shtml. LINUX is a trademark of Linus Torvalds. All other names and trademarks are the property of their respective owners.

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