SOURCE: IBM

September 15, 2008 09:09 ET

IBM, Government and Higher Education Institutions Launch Service Science Initiative in Malaysia

IBM Collaborates With Higher Education Malaysia to Offer SSME Curricula That Creates Skills for the Innovation-Led Economy

PETALING JAYA, MALAYSIA--(Marketwire - September 15, 2008) - IBM (NYSE: IBM) and eleven higher education institutions in Malaysia today announced their collaboration to establish and develop a multidisciplinary curriculum -- Service Science, Management and Engineering (SSME) -- in joint efforts to nurture experts and specialized human resources as the country moves towards an innovation-led economy.

The participating institutions are Universiti Sains Malaysia, Universiti Malaya, Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia, Universiti Putra Malaysia, Universiti Teknologi Malaysia, Universiti Teknologi MARA, Universiti Malaysia Sabah, Universiti Malaysia Pahang, Multimedia University, Asia Pacific University College of Technology and Innovation (UCTI) and INTI College.

At the inaugural MOSTI-IBM Innovation Forum where the collaboration was announced, Datuk Dr. Maximus Johnity Ongkili, Minister of Science, Technology & Innovation, Malaysia, said, "Innovation is the only way to create sustainable competitive advantage in a world of relentless change and increasing global competition. We recognize that human capital is the driving force of the innovation-led economy, therefore we will continue to invest in human capital development as it is critical for improving innovation and ensuring the emergence of a more creative and skilled workforce."

The services sector in Malaysia is expected to register an annual growth rate of 7.5 per cent from 2006 to 2020. The contribution of the services sector to our GDP by 2020 is expected to be around 59.7 per cent.(1)

"The launch of Service Science, Management and Engineering in Malaysia speaks of a shared vision and a sense of urgency that new approaches and collaborative innovation are needed to propel Malaysia's knowledge economy to the next frontier," said Dato Seri Mohamed Khaled Nordin, Minister of Higher Education Malaysia.

Service Science, Management and Engineering is the application of science, management, and engineering disciplines to tasks that one organization beneficially performs for and with another "service." It is a proposed academic discipline and research area that would complement -- rather than replace -- the many disciplines that contribute to knowledge about Service Science. The curricula was developed and introduced in 2004 by IBM after having worked with numerous companies and universities worldwide.

"IBM's collaboration with the academia and government reflects our commitment to providing a critical foundation to sustain growth and success in Malaysia's services sector. It will help differentiate Malaysia's competitive position globally as we are gearing up to transcend the level of the nation's service skills and capabilities to improve service excellence globally," said Ou Shian Waei, Managing Director, IBM Malaysia.

Last week, Universiti Sains Malaysia and IBM officially announced the first of such collaboration in Malaysia and the availability of a Service Science, Management and Engineering program to be offered as Executive Masters in Business Administration Program starting in 2009.

About Service Science, Management and Engineering (SSME)

SSME is an emerging academic discipline designed to develop the skills required in the world's increasingly services-based economies.

This new field will bring together ongoing work in computer science, operations research, industrial engineering, business strategy, management sciences, social and cognitive sciences, and legal sciences.

SSME aims to provide a foundation for the services sector to study and understand how to create and deliver reusable assets so that services engagements can be more easily replicated and more effectively delivered.

Through case studies of real businesses and scientific programs, particularly in information technology and business services, the SSME course will focus on the issues involved in aligning people and technology effectively to generate value for both services providers and services clients.

More information about IBM's Academic Initiative and SSME is available at www.ibm.com/university/ssme.

(1)Source: Malaysian Industrial Development Authority (MIDA)

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