SOURCE: IBM

May 05, 2005 07:29 ET

IBM Designers to Help Clients Create Breakthrough Products and New Business Opportunities

Product Design Consulting Services to Define New Customer Experiences for Clients

ARMONK, NY -- (MARKET WIRE) -- May 5, 2005 -- IBM said today it will launch a new service that allows companies to tap into IBM's award-winning product design and usability expertise, creating breakthrough products for other companies that offer more impact and user satisfaction in everything from consumer electronics to medical devices, like those that transmit data from pulse rate, heart rate and glucose level monitors over cellular networks.

With this new service, IBM design experts will consult directly with clients who want deep insight into how their consumers or business customers might interact with future products or services. IBM experts will also assist companies with the building blocks needed to move from design concepts to actual offerings.

The new service -- part of the IBM's efforts to gain share of a $500 billion market opportunity called Business Performance Transformation Services, where clients aim to transform significant parts of their business -- includes a focus on business process overhauls and ways of envisioning new products and partner strategies, potentially leading clients into new markets or enabling them to grow existing businesses.

For example, the IBM design team worked with a cellular services provider to prototype a new hub device that could interact with dozens of other devices and potentially lead to new revenues through partnerships and offerings in markets the company did not previously envision.

"We've engaged with a number of clients to help them link design with strategy, and to effectively manage the process of defining user needs more effectively. We've done this in conjunction with IBM Engineering & Technology Services and IBM Business Consulting Services," said Lee Green, IBM's Director of Worldwide Corporate Design and the leader of the new group. "Given our success with that experience -- and the demand we see for this new service -- we're now launching it across IBM and first targeting clients in the electronics industry, among others."

IBM Product Design Consulting Services has been involved with linking strategy and design for such diverse organizations as the New York Stock Exchange (a wireless handheld device for floor traders) and Mayo Medical Ventures (a new small scale MRI device for hand and wrist injury images). IBM has also worked extensively with automotive and telecommunications companies to rethink how they can differentiate their offerings so they are more appealing and offer greater value to consumers.

"Increasingly, our clients are seeking new insights into customer needs, innovative design ideas and ways to harness technology to create breakthrough products and gain market advantage. This capability makes IBM Product Design Consulting Services a valuable complement and unique differentiator to the Product Development and Delivery solutions we currently provide global electronics clients," added George Bailey, Global Leader, Electronics Industry, IBM Business Consulting Services.

"We're offering a proven capability unique in the industry that includes ideation, industrial design, advanced ergonomics and user experience mapping. Our approach helps reveal unarticulated, unmet customer needs that can lead to new marketplace opportunities and transform business models," said Bob Steinbugler, an IBM designer who is heading up the new services group for Green.

A key advantage of this new service for IBM clients is that they can achieve their business goals through outstanding design, while leveraging the vast resources of IBM: the distinguished IBM Research labs, hundreds of highly skilled engineers and other consultants, and IBM technologies that can be integrated into their products -- value that extends far beyond traditional industrial design.

Capturing a New Market Opportunity: BPTS

As part of its effort to attack the Business Performance Transformation Services marketplace, IBM has been pushing its researchers, engineers and other innovators to work directly with clients, turning the marketplace into a living lab and creating new breakthroughs.

Product Design Consulting Services follows a long list of these services launched by IBM that combines deep expertise and advanced skills that IBM traditionally kept in house -- well protected jewels used to differentiate its own products and services. Other examples include:

--  The Center for Business Optimization: a new consulting and software
    business aimed at optimizing a business, built out of IBM's expertise with
    the world's top math scientists from the distinguished IBM Research labs,
    its leading capabilities in deep computing and analytics and its industry
    consulting expertise.
    
--  Engineering & Technology Services: opens up IBM's world class
    research, chip and product development, design and manufacturing techniques
    to other companies, including the New York Stock Exchange, Mayo Clinic and
    a number of chip manufacturers.
    
--  On Demand Innovation Services: consulting group housed in IBM's
    Research labs, designed to get the world's top scientists out of the lab,
    bringing advanced technologies and deep expertise of IBM's Research
    division directly into a client's business.
    
IBM Product Design Consulting Services are available immediately to clients. For more information, visit: http://www-03.ibm.com/technology/designconsulting/index.html

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