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IBM team joins 'smarter city' project

Execs working with officials in Chon Buri on developing strategies



IBM announced a team of its executives has begun work with Chon Buri officials to collaborate and develop strategies to help turn the city into an international tourist destination and transport hub of the region.

The team is to analyse and make recommendations to help Chon Buri become a smarter city. The project is part of IBM Smarter Cities Challenge grants to assist progressive, forward-thinking municipalities.

The team includes Michael Preis, delivery executive, IBM Global Business Services; Krishnan Ramachandran, IBM distinguished engineer and chief technology officer, Mobile Solutions Leaders, Banking and Financial Market; Anna Tassioula, client director, IBM Financial Markets; Denise Freier, organisational change executive, IBM Sales Forces Automation; and Mauricio Sucasas Da Costa, director, ISV and developer relations, IBM Growth Markets Unit.

The team will spend the next three weeks analysing the current situation and build on existing plans to address Chon Buri's vision to be a smarter city.

Chon Buri is one of 33 cities that were selected for the 2012 Smarter Cities Challenge grant. A team of five top-performing IBM leaders from the US and China has been selected to work with the city.

The team of IBM experts will work with city officials on two key priorities. First is to help position the city as a world-famous tourist destination and livable town for local citizens and foreigners. And second is to help transform it into the logistics hub for the region.

The tourism project, in partnership with Pattaya City, aims to improve the city's quality of living by focusing on public safety and traffic management.

For the logistics hub project, the team will collaborate with Laem Chabang Port to help advance its operations and service by leveraging technology to become a major logistics hub and gateway to counties in the Mekong sub-region.

Launched in 2011, the Smarter Cities Challenge is a three-year, 100-city US$50-million (Bt1.5 billion) programme. It is IBM's single-largest philanthropic initiative, which funds in-person engagements staffed by teams of top IBM experts, who study and then make detailed recommendations addressing locally important urban issues.

Teams of specially selected IBM experts will provide city leaders with analysis and recommendations to support successful growth, better delivery of municipal services, more citizen engagement and improved efficiency.

Last year, Chiang Mai was one of 24 cities worldwide selected to receive IBM Smarter Cities Challenge grants. The grants provide the cities with access to IBM's top experts to analyse and recommend ways they can become even better places in which to live, work and play. Thailand has been selected as one of 20 growth countries that IBM will focus on intensively for investment.

According to IBM, growth markets generated 22 per cent of the company's global revenue last year, and the company aims to have 30 per cent of its total global revenue come from growth markets by 2015. IBM identified 140 countries from a total of 170 where IBM has a business presence.


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