Thursday, March 24, 2011

IT Boot Camps Teach New Ideas and Technologies

    IT Boot Camps Teach New Ideas and Technologies
  • An IBM initiative provides no-charge boot camps to businesses, universities and other organizations for training IT staff on Big Data and other new technologies.
  • An IBM initiative provides no-charge boot camps to businesses, universities and other organizations for training IT staff on Big Data and other new technologies.
    IBM's supercomputer Watson has been making many headlines lately by competing on "Jeopardy!" and helping to make complicated medical decisions. Now the underlying technologies of the Watson computing system are being used to create boot camps for IT and management training.
    In the new program, IT professionals will have free access to 1,200 boot camps onsite, online and at IBM Innovation Centers. The program focuses on "Big Data," which includes all of the information available on the Web, mobile devices, social networks and other public sources of information not integrated into a company's information management platform.
    Because Big Data is a relatively new phenomenon, many IT professionals lack the skills to manage it. In addition to training about Big Data, the IBM boot camps will focus on analytics, data management and open-source technologies like Hadoop.
    IBM has already led several training projects about Big Data, with 8,000 analytics consultants in a network of analytics centers around the world.
    For instance, at Marist College in Poughkeepsie, N.Y., IBM is working with deans to expand course offerings on Big Data, green IT and analytics. In a statement, Roger Norton, dean of the School of Computer Science and Mathematics, explained, "Watson demonstrated a new standard for an energy efficient computing system that today's companies can use to become more green."
    At MGM College of Engineering & Technology in India, 600 students and faculty members are already certified and trained on Big Data with other IBM technologies.
    "IBM is bringing real-world industry experience to students to keep them in touch with emerging technologies and IT trends such as Big Data," said Professor Nareshkumar Harale, according to a statement. Harale is head of Computer Engineering, MGM College of Engineering & Technology at MGM College. "When universities and businesses collaborate," he explained, "they build the next generation of skilled information technology leaders to create new opportunities, fuel economic growth and solve challenges that can improve the way we live."
    A similar program is in place at Haycarb, a Sri-Lankan-based green tech company that manufactures activated carbon programs. In an effort to reduce IT and energy-related costs, Haycarb enrolled in an IBM boot camp.
    "We had this idea that migrating from one database software to another would eat up a lot of time, money and resources. Instead of having to go off site to take the course, IBM came to us, tailoring the course based on our existing skills and building upon that," said Chinthaka Abeykoon, head of IT at Haycarb. "It is extremely vital to stay current on these technologies that address challenges such as taming growing amounts of data and ensuring database security."
    Perficient, an IBM business partner, also used the boot camps to train its IT teams on new technologies.
    "Companies are amassing up to petabytes of information during peak hours of operations, and they see an opportunity to use this data to gain new insights into their customers and get ahead of the competition," said Arvind Krishna, general manager of IBM Information Management.
    "Uncovering insights hidden among data in existing IT systems, and outside of the firewall in social networks, on clouds and from mobile devices, requires today's IT professionals to possess new skills," said Krishna. "As a result, we expect to see more companies move from Oracle to IBM software to capitalize on Big Data opportunities, and shift the economics from wasteful IT spending to growth investments. Our goal this year is to help 10,000 Oracle Database professionals expand their skills with IBM Software to more rapidly achieve their business goals."
    For more information about the boot camps, click here.

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