“We can‘t be essential unless our partners are skilled in our products and confident in going to their clients with our products and selling them with us and for IBM,” IBM channel chief Kate Woolley said.
IBM has started giving registered members of its PartnerWorld program access to the training, badges and enablement IBM sales employees get along with a new learning hub for accessing materials.
The expansion is part of the Armonk, N.Y.-based tech giant’s investment in its partner program, IBM channel chief Kate Woolley told CRN in an interview.
“We can‘t be essential unless our partners are skilled in our products and confident in going to their clients with our products and selling them with us and for IBM,” said Woolley (pictured), general manager of the IBM ecosystem.
[RELATED: Channel Chief Kate Woolley: ‘No Better Time To Be An IBM Partner’]
Partners now have access to sales and technical badges showing industry expertise, according to a blog post Tuesday. Badges are shareable on LinkedIn and other professional social platforms. IBM sales representatives and partners will receive new content at the same time as it becomes available.
“This is the next step in that journey in terms of making sure that all of our registered partners have access to all of the same training, all of the same enablement materials as IBMers,” Woolley told CRN. “That’s the big message that we want people to hear. And then also in line with continuing to make it easier to do business with IBM, this has all been done through a much improved digital experience in terms of how our partners are able to access and consume.”
Among the materials available to IBM partners are scripts for sales demonstrations, templates for sales presentations and positioning offerings compared to competitors, white papers, analyst reports and solution briefs. Skilling and enablement materials are available through a new learning hub IBM has launched.
“The partners are telling us they want more expertise on their teams in terms of the IBM products that they‘re able to sell and how equipped they are to sell them,” Woolley said. “And as we look at what we’re hearing from clients as well, clients want that. … Our clients are saying, ‘We want more technical expertise. We want more experiential selling. We want IBM’ – and that means the IBM ecosystem as well – ‘to have all of that expertise and to have access to all the right enablement material to be able to engage with us as clients.’”
The company has doubled the number of brand-specialized partner sellers in the ecosystem and increased the number of technical partner sellers by more than 35 percent, according to IBM.
The company’s latest program changes have led to improved deal registration and introduced to partners more than 7,000 potential deals valued at more than $500 million globally, according to IBM. Those numbers are based on IBM sales data from January 2022 to August.
Along with the expanded access to training and enablement resources, Woolley told CRN that another example of aligning the IBM sales force and partners was a single sales kickoff event for employees and partners. A year ago, two separate events were held.
“I want our partners to continue to feel and see this as a big investment in them and representative of how focused we are on the ecosystem and how invested we are,” she said.
A four-year bachelor’s degree has long been the first rung to climbing America’s corporate ladder.
But the move to prioritize skills over a college education is sweeping through some of America’s largest companies, including Google, EY, Microsoft, and Apple. Strong proponents say the shift helps circumvent a needless barrier to workplace diversity.
“I really do believe an inclusive diverse workforce is better for your company, it’s good for the business,” Ginni Rometty, former IBM CEO, told Fortune Media CEO Alan Murray during a panel last month for Connect, Fortune’s executive education community. “That’s not just altruistic.”
Under Rometty’s leadership in 2016, tech giant IBM coined the term “new collar jobs” in reference to roles that require a specific set of skills rather than a four-year degree. It’s a personal commitment for Rometty, one that hits close to home for the 40-year IBM veteran.
When Rometty was 16, her father left the family, leaving her mother, who’d never worked outside the home, suddenly in the position to provide.
“She had four children and nothing past high school, and she had to get a job to…get us out of this downward spiral,” Rometty recalled to Murray. “What I saw in that was that my mother had aptitude; she wasn’t dumb, she just didn’t have access, and that forever stayed in my mind.”
When Rometty became CEO in 2012 following the Great Recession, the U.S. unemployment rate hovered around 8%. Despite the influx of applicants, she struggled to find employees who were trained in the particular cybersecurity area she was looking for.
“I realized I couldn’t hire them, so I had to start building them,” she said.
In 2011, IBM launched a corporate social responsibility effort called the Pathways in Technology Early College High School (P-TECH) in Brooklyn. It’s since expanded to 11 states in the U.S. and 28 countries.
Through P-TECH, Rometty visited “a very poor high school in a bad neighborhood” that received the company’s support, as well as a community college where IBM was offering help with a technology-based curriculum and internships.
“Voilà! These kids could do the work. I didn’t have [applicants with] college degrees, so I learned that propensity to learn is way more important than just having a degree,” Rometty said.
Realizing the students were fully capable of the tasks that IBM needed moved Rometty to return to the drawing board when it came to IBM’s own application process and whom it was reaching. She said that at the time, 95% of job openings at IBM required a four-year degree. As of January 2021, less than half do, and the company is continuously reevaluating its roles.
For the jobs that now no longer require degrees and instead rely on skills and willingness to learn, IBM had always hired Ph.D. holders from the very best Ivy League schools, Rometty told Murray. But data shows that the degree-less hires for the same jobs performed just as well. “They were more loyal, higher retention, and many went on to get college degrees,” she said.
Rometty has since become cochair of OneTen, a civic organization committed to hiring, promoting, and advancing 1 million Black individuals without four-year degrees within the next 10 years.
If college degrees no longer become compulsory for white-collar jobs, many other qualifications—skills that couldn’t be easily taught in a boot camp, apprenticeship program, or in the first month on the job—could die off, too, University of Virginia Darden School of Business professor Sean Martin told Fortune last year.
“The companies themselves miss out on people that research suggests…might be less entitled, more culturally savvy, more desirous of being there,” Martin said. Rather than pedigree, he added, hiring managers should look for motivation.
That’s certainly the case at IBM. Once the company widened its scope, Rometty said, the propensity to learn quickly became more of an important hiring factor than just a degree.
This story was originally featured on Fortune.com
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IBM (NYSE:IBM) acquired Dialexa, a Dallas TX and Chicago, IL-based digital product engineering services firm.
The amount of the deal was not disclosed. The transaction is expected to close in the fourth quarter of this year and is subject to customary closing conditions and regulatory clearances.
The acquisition is expected to enhance IBM’s product engineering expertise and provide end-to-end digital transformation services for clients. Upon close, Dialexa will join IBM Consulting, strengthening IBM’s digital product engineering services presence in the Americas.
Founded in 2010 and led by CEO Scott Harper, Dialexa delivers a suite of digital product engineering services, enabling organizations to create new products to drive business outcomes. The company has deep experience delivering end-to-end digital product engineering services consisting of strategy, design, build, launch, and optimization services across cloud platforms including AWS and Microsoft Azure. Its team of 300 product managers, designers, full-stack engineers and data scientists, based in Dallas and Chicago, advise and create custom, commercial-grade digital products for clients such as Deere & Company, Pizza Hut US, and Toyota Motor North America.
In honor of National Hispanic Heritage Month, we asked three IBM employees to share their experiences. Romelia Flores is an IBM distinguished engineer and a master inventor currently on IBM's client engineering team based in Dallas, Texas. Robert Loredo is the IBM quantum ambassador worldwide lead and a master inventor based in South Florida. Catherine Treviño is a z Hardware brand technical specialist based in Poughkeepsie, New York.
In this Q&A, these three employees open up about how mentorship has benefitted their careers and share the importance of giving back to fellow members of the Hispanic community.
Flores: I joined IBM over 30 years ago as an intern and student at the University of Texas at Austin where I obtained a degree in computer science. As a software developer, I thrive on leveraging technology to accelerate business and collaborate with clients to drive app modernization. IBM has superlative talent around the world, many of whom have guided my journey. Being a strong technologist means being a continuous learner of technology as well as establishing a strong network.
Loredo: I joined IBM in 2004 and am fortunate to have a successful career because of IBM's network and community. I have 20 years of experience in enterprise product development leveraging leading-edge technologies, most recently with quantum computing, a technology that's expected to solve intractable problems that today's most powerful classical supercomputers find challenging to solve.
Treviño: My journey at IBM has been short but accomplished! I joined in 2020 as an intern and rising senior from the University of Texas – Rio Grande Valley. Upon completing my internship, I accepted an offer and returned in 2021. I've since switched roles to a different business unit, thanks to the guidance of fellow volunteers of Hispanics@IBM, the community for Hispanic IBM employees.
Treviño: Networking led to a new opportunity within my first year at IBM. When I first joined full-time, I quickly realized the role was not the right fit. As a first-generation professional, I wasn't sure how to navigate the situation. I chatted with Alan, IBM D&I leader for the Hispanic community, who connected me with Cleo, a Hispanic executive council leader, who brought up an open role. I'm grateful for that connection! Long story short, I'm now part of Cleo's global sales team, where I help financial market clients find solutions with our z Systems.
Loredo: I'm grateful for the mentor who saw my potential and found a unique way to teach me complex subjects. While at Miami-Dade College, I struggled with the courses for engineering majors. My professor knew I enjoyed music and began teaching me mathematics using music as an analogy. That was my 'aha!' moment. My grades improved, allowing a transfer to the University of Miami, where I completed my bachelor's and master's degrees in computer engineering. That moment, when my professor found an unconventional way to teach, had a profound impact on me. I use that technique today. I wrote a book that teaches quantum computing implementation and I use analogies to explain it.
Flores: I've mentored hundreds of college students and IBM employees, including distinguished engineers and technologists. I've been told— especially by females and underrepresented minorities — that they've never seen a technologist with my level of impact, and they ask, "What's your secret to success?" This inspired me to develop the "Eight Cs: Blueprint for Success" which I believe are key attributes for attaining success: competence, communication, commitment, creativity, collaboration, confidence, community, and chuckle – we often forget about this last one, but our work should be fun!
This post was created by IBM with Insider Studios.
IBM continues to spend millions to buy hybrid cloud companies, as the company makes its sixth acquisition in 2022 with Dialexa.
IBM continues to spend millions on buying hybrid cloud companies with the unveiling of its acquisition of engineering consulting specialist Dialexa to boost its cloud charge.
Since IBM CEO Arvind Krishna took the reins in April 2020, IBM has acquired more than 25 companies, including many hybrid cloud businesses.
In February alone, IBM acquired cloud consultant services standout Sentaca, as well as Microsoft Azure consultancy all-star Neudesic—with the two purchases squarely aimed at boosting IBM’s hybrid and multi-cloud services capabilities.
[Related: UK To Probe Amazon, Google, Microsoft’s Cloud Dominance]
Looking at the Armonk, N.Y.-based company’s purchase of Dialexa, IBM will gain 300 skilled product managers, designers, full-stack engineers and data scientists. Dialexa will become part of IBM’s Consulting business unit, which spearheads the company’s digital product engineering services in the Americas.
“Dialexa’s product engineering expertise, combined with IBM’s hybrid cloud and business transformation offerings, will help our clients turn concepts into differentiated product portfolios that accelerate growth,” said John Granger, senior vice president of IBM Consulting, in a statement.
Dialexa marks IBM’s sixth purchase in 2022 with the goal of boosting its hybrid cloud and artificial intelligence abilities.
Along with buying Dialexa, Sentaca and Neudesic, IBM has also acquired Randori, an attack surface management cybersecurity specialist that helps protect hybrid cloud environments.
Earlier this year, IBM’s CEO said hybrid cloud and artificial intelligence are top of mind for his company in terms of investment and the future.
“We are integrating technology and expertise—from IBM, our partners and even our competitors—to meet the urgent needs of our clients, who see hybrid cloud and AI as crucial sources of competitive advantage,” Krishna said in March. “And we are ready to be the catalyst of progress for our clients as they pursue the digital transformation of the world’s mission-critical businesses.”
In 2021, IBM’s hybrid cloud revenue jumped 19 percent compared with 2020, comprising 35 percent of its total revenue.
Based in Dallas and Chicago, Dialexa delivers a suite of digital product engineering services to help customers create transformative products to drive business outcomes.
Dialexa’s 300-strong engineers and skilled IT experts advise and create custom digital products for customers, which include Deere & Company, Pizza Hut U.S. and Toyota Motor North America. Financial terms of the Dialexa deal were not disclosed.
IBM said Dialexa provides deep experience delivering end-to-end digital product engineering services consisting of strategy, design, build, launch and optimization services across cloud platforms including Amazon Web Services and Microsoft Azure.
“Digital product engineering represents the tip of the spear for competitive advantage,” said Dialexa CEO Scott Harper in a statement. “IBM and Dialexa’s shared vision for delivering industry-defining digital products could be a game-changer.”
Investors this year increasingly turned away from dividend stocks in favor of the rising yields being offered on bonds. Given that investors can now earn a 4.3% return on a 2-year Treasury note, many prefer that guaranteed return to the risks of putting money into the stock market.
International Business Machines (IBM 1.23%) offers a dividend yield that exceeds that bond return. But with a bear market in progress, are investors better served to take a chance on the cloud stock or to take the 4.3% return at virtually zero risk?
IBM didn't participate in the bull market of the 2010s. The stock dropped as its tech businesses suffered a considerable growth slowdown. In an effort to change that, IBM pivoted into the cloud computing sector aggressively, in part via its $34 billion purchase of Red Hat in 2019. Grand View Research forecasts a compound annual growth rate of 16% through 2030 for the cloud industry. Growth like that could certainly help both IBM and its stock.
Also, IBM spun off its managed infrastructure business into a new public company, Kyndryl. This business was less of a fit with the parent company amid its pivot to the cloud. Separating it off should make it easier for IBM to grow its revenue.
Time will tell if these moves can help the stock price recover. Nonetheless, IBM currently pays its shareholders $1.65 per share every quarter, or $6.60 per share annually. At the current stock price, that adds up to a yield of 5.6% per year. Moreover, depending on your financial situation, the IRS may tax your dividends at a lower capital gains rate, which can offer an added advantage.
Additionally, IBM hiked its payout annually for 27 consecutive years, making it a Dividend Aristocrat. That status carries some importance as many income investors will be more inclined to buy and hold IBM stock because of this status. Also, since abandoning Dividend Aristocrat status tends to hurt a stock, management will probably prioritize maintaining it by continuing to raise those payouts.
Investors also can also reinvest their dividend payments into more IBM stock. However, such newly purchased shares will pay you the dividend yield at that time. The return will rise if the stock falls since investors can buy the exact cash return at a lower price. Conversely, cash yields will drop if the stock rises, but those investors still benefit since the stock has increased in value.
U.S. Treasury notes offer more stability than stocks such as IBM. Investors who purchase the 2-year Treasury note receive semiannual interest payments. At the current interest rate of 4.3%, investors will receive a 2.15% cash return on their invested amount in each of the subsequent three six-month periods. In the fourth period, when the note matures, investors receive the final 2.15% payment along with the return of their principal.
Investors should also be aware that bond values can fluctuate. If interest rates drop, the value of the bond will fall; the opposite will happen if rates rise. This affects investors if they decide to sell the bond early. Upon maturity, the note will return to its par (or nominal) value.
Additionally, bond interest payments are subject to federal income tax but exempt from state and local taxes. In some cases, this is higher than taxes on dividends. Still, bond issuers are obligated to make such payments. In contrast, IBM faces no legal obligation to continue its dividend.
Also, like with a stock, investors can reinvest their interest payments into more notes or other forms of Treasury bonds. However, those purchases will be subject to the prevailing interest rates at that time.
Investors who lack much risk tolerance should choose the Treasury note. Given its guaranteed return, they will not have to worry about volatility.
Nonetheless, for investors comfortable with buying stocks, IBM is a surprisingly strong buy. The cloud industry is in growth mode, which should propel IBM stock to a long-awaited turnaround. Moreover, IBM has repeatedly shown it wants to hold on to its Dividend Aristocrat status. This should deliver its income investors returns that are not only larger than the bonds offer, but also likely to increase in size.
IBM has announced the latest version of its Linux-focused mainframe - the LinuxOne Emperor 4 as the company leads with promises of reduced energy consumption and increased sustainability.
While the z16 mainframe, which was announced by the company in April 2022, is optimized for IBM’s z/OS operating system, the LinuxOne Emperor 4 is designed to support Linux operating systems in a bid to obtain a significant portion of the Linux market.
Big Blue’s latest mainframe supports 32 Telum processors and can provide up to 40TB of RAIM. The Emperor 4 also provides “seven nines” of availability, which should translate to three seconds of downtime per year.
Mainframes for Linux distros are increasingly popular among financial services organizations, with Citibank being a user of IBM’s LinuxOne mainframes, combined with the MongoDB database.
With its latest iteration, it’s clear that IBM’s focus is on increasing environmental pressures. In a release, it claims that the Emperor 4 “can reduce energy consumption by 75%, space by 50%, and the CO2e footprint by over 850 metric tons annually.”
This expression of commitment towards creating more sustainable products goes hand-in-hand with IBM’s own research which suggests that around half of the CEOs that took part saw sustainability as their highest priority, and indeed one of their greatest challenges.
The integration of artificial intelligence inference should also serve to Boost latency.
Availability for the IBM LinuxOne Emperor 4 is scheduled for September 14, 2022, with entry- and mid-range models set to follow in the first half of 2023.
Quantum computing will bring unimagined innovations to the world when it finally arrives in full glory. Still, quantum remains in the research labs at companies like IBM, Google, and Microsoft. While companies and research institutions are investing billions of dollars to increase the capacity of quantum systems, a time will come in the following years, or decades, when researchers will reach "quantum supremacy." But these large quantum marvels could also jeopardize the security of critical information systems. Researchers, including IBM are working to develop new security algorithms that will be resilient to these attacks.
While quantum can solve computing challenges far beyond what is possible today, its ability to find the factors of large prime numbers makes it the ideal cybersecurity safe cracker once quantum computing systems mature in their scale, quality, and speed. Every computer system and every bit of "secure" data could become vulnerable to attack from quantum-equipped nefarious actors. The World Economic Forum "estimate(s) that over 20 billion digital devices will need to be either upgraded or replaced in the next 10-20 years to use the new forms of quantum-resistant encrypted communication. We recommend that organizations start planning for this now.”
What constitutes "adequate size" might deliver us some false comfort: a 2019 study suggested that a computer with 20 million qubits would take eight hours to break modern encryption. Today's quantum computers are on the order of only 100 qubits. But while that implies that the threat is in the distant future, one must consider that a bad actor doesn't need to wait for the massive quantum system to materialize. The "Steal now, crack later" approach leads to a latent future security threat. Consequently, organizations should deploy quantum-safe security as soon as possible to minimize future risk.
Consequently, the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST), a bureau of the U.S. Department of Commerce, has been conducting an ongoing search for quantum-safe security algorithms that are both secure and efficient. After all, we need our laptops, cars, and mobile phones to also be able to resist attacks from quantum-equipped bad actors. After four rounds of submissions, NIST selected four algorithms from a slate of 82 candidates. IBM Research had submitted 3 of the four chosen algorithms. All submissions have been subjected to research by industry scrutiny by government agencies, academic scientists, and mathematicians. This process is now reaching its conclusion; the NIST is expected to publish standards based on these 4 algorithms sometime in 2024.
The NIST contest covers the two aspects of security that could be vulnerable to quantum computing: public key encapsulation (used for public-key encryption and key establishment) and digital signatures (used for identity authentication and non-repudiation). For the former, NIST selected the CRYSTALS-Kyber algorithm. NIST selected three algorithms for signatures: CRYSTALS-Dilithium, FALCON, and SPHINCS+, with CRYSTALS-Dilithium as the primary algorithm in the signature category.
On September 29, GSMA announced the formation of the GSMA Post-Quantum Telco Network Taskforce, of which IBM and Vodafone are initial members, to help define policy, regulation and operator business processes to enhance protections of telecommunications in a future of advanced quantum computing. Since virtually all organizations and sectors conduct commerce on the internet, and the 800 providers whose pipes that carry all the internet traffic, the Telco industry is a good place to start. We expect other sectors to follow suit, perhaps starting with banking, government, and health care.
Given the magnitude of the potential risks, and the predominance of IBM Z systems in security-critical applications, IBM has included future-proof digital signature support in its latest z16 mainframe using CRYSTALS-Kyber and CRYSTALS -Dilithium algorithms selected by NIST. z16 implements this algorithm across multiple layers of firmware to help protect business-critical infrastructure and data from future quantum attacks. IBM has said it is also working to bring these new methods to the broader market.
In addition, IBM has developed a multi-step process to assist clients toward rapidly making institutions quantum safe. The company works with clients to identify where they are vulnerable to quantum-based cryptography attacks, assess cryptographic maturity and dependencies, and identify near-term achievable cryptographic goals and projects. The risks clients may face vary substantially based on the type of applications and data an organization handles and the state of its current cryptography.
Quantum computing's potential threat to global information security may seem to be a distant and abstract risk. However, the inevitable advances of quantum technology and the "Steal now, crack later" approach bad actors are undertaking to make quantum-safe a genuine and pressing matter for vendors and IT organizations. IBM wasted no time bringing that technology to market in the IBM z16. IBM Research has contributed three of the four algorithms the NIST quantum-safe contest has selected to be the most viable, secure, and efficient of the 70 techniques evaluated.
Beyond the NIST-approved algorithms, IBM Is working to provide “crypto agility”, helping organizations not only replace the soon-to-fail existing algorithms but also transform their security practices to remain resilient as new threats emerge in the post-quantum world. Creating crypto observability, enabling ongoing monitoring and actions on crypto-related security items, will help keep the world safer from bad actors with virtually unlimited computing capacity at their disposal.
More information can be found at here.
Disclosures: This article expresses the opinions of the authors, and is not to be taken as advice to purchase from nor invest in the companies mentioned. Cambrian AI Research is fortunate to have many, if not most, semiconductor firms as our clients, including Blaize, Cerebras, D-Matrix, Esperanto, FuriosaAI, Graphcore, GML, IBM, Intel, Mythic, NVIDIA, Qualcomm Technologies, Si-Five, SiMa.ai, Synopsys, and Tenstorrent. We have no investment positions in any of the companies mentioned in this article and do not plan to initiate any in the near future. For more information, please visit our website at https://cambrian-AI.com.
RESEARCH TRIANGLE PARK – In a move to enhance its hybrid cloud and AI capabilities, IBM will buy the digital product engineering consulting services firm Dialexa in a deal that will close later this year.
IBM announced the deal in a statement, which also notes that the purchase of the firm will “deepen IBM’s product engineering expertise and provide end-to-end digital transformation services for clients.”
When the deal closes, Dialexa will become the sixth company bought by IBM in 2022.
But Big Blue has been on a buying frenzy since April 2020, when Arvind Krishna became the company’s CEO. According to the company, IBM has acquired more than 25 other firms, with 13 to bolster IBM Consulting.
The latest acquisition of Dialexa points toward how IBM may grow its consulting services presence.
“In this digital era, clients are looking for the right mix of high-quality products to build new revenue streams and Boost topline growth,” said John Granger, senior vice president, IBM Consulting, in a statement. “Dialexa’s product engineering expertise, combined with IBM’s hybrid cloud and business transformation offerings, will help our clients turn concepts into differentiated product portfolios that accelerate growth.”
The company’s 300 employees are based in Dallas and in Chicago, and will join IBM Consulting, according to the statement. Among the firm’s clients is Toyota Motor North America, which will invest $2.5 billion in North Carolina to build the company’s first U.S. electric battery manufacturing plant in Randolph County.
Photo by Desola Lanre-Ologun on Unsplash
Everywhere you turn, in nearly every industry, there are labour challenges.
In manufacturing 82% of businesses are looking for help, and for the first time since 2015 there are more jobs available than there are people.
In Ontario the Chamber of Commerce reports that 60% of its members are having trouble filling roles in health care, retail, construction, tourism, and financial services.
And despite latest layoffs with technology companies, a 2021 Information and Communications Technology Council report forecasts 11% of all employment in Canada will be in the digital economy by 2025, requiring 250,000 more people to fill roles.
Labour shortages are being fuelled by a growing number of people retiring, combined with a decline in immigration during the pandemic. The problem is exacerbated by a mismatch between available jobs and skills. Digital transformation — especially the rush to digital-first initiatives during the COVID-19 pandemic — has meant that technology and related jobs are in high-demand. A whopping 80% of businesses surveyed by KPMG say they need more workers with digital skills.
So where does one look to help fix the talent shortage and skills gap?
“Upskilling, reskilling, and teaching students digital and technical skills is going to be a critical step in meeting growing demand in Canada,” says Lila Adamec, Leader of Academic Integration and Innovation at IBM Canada Lab. “Young students have a huge opportunity to help lead a new digital generation, and many skilled people already in the workforce can look to have their skills upgraded to learn more about cloud, or AI, or analytics, for example.”
Adamec has been working on this problem for years.
In 2017 she developed a program at IBM to address this skills gap. The approach her team took was to deliver turnkey curriculum solutions to universities across Canada. Essentially a “complete curriculum solution” as Adamec calls it, IBM provides higher-ed institutions with a complete toolkit, including curriculum material, access to IBM’s enterprise software, tests, and microcredentials. The curriculum is designed to address skills gaps commonly found in the tech sector by delivering and providing learners with “skill security.”
“With the gig economy, skill security is important, so that you can move from one gig to the next,” Adamec says. “Or if you need to upskill in an area or level up your education, and quickly get the skills you need. So much of this is becoming an agile service offering.”
With this solution, everyone wins: students get upskilling potential, and colleges and universities meet academic criteria with a curriculum that’s approved by government ministries and professional associations.
Adamec rolled out the [email protected] program in 2018, and since then it’s been adopted by dozens of institutions including York University, Mohawk College, Bow Valley College, SAIT, NAIT, Holland College, and Vanier College, to name a few. Classes are often filled to capacity or over-subscribed, and students credit the courses for helping them land their dream jobs.
Since its rollout, Adamec says IBM Canada has delivered more than 3,000 microcredentials to students who have taken their courses.
The education space has undergone a radical transformation in the last five years. First because of evolving student needs and increased demand for newer tech-focused curriculum, then because the pandemic forced a rethink of how and where people attend post-secondary institutions.
While the hybrid classroom is now more commonplace, colleges and universities still face pressure to deliver curriculum that is in line with what students need in today’s workforce, and that is a real challenge.
This stems from the fact that a university or college course needs to be approved by a government ministry, which can take years. The process typically requires at least one full-time person to prepare a curriculum for ministry approval, and it can cost more than $1 million per course when all is said and done. As a result, some colleges and university programs opt for a standardized approach so students achieve a minimum set of skills that correspond to the industry or sector.
It’s no wonder that many professors will teach the same material, without extensive updates, for 5-7 years.
When Adamec designed the [email protected] program, she knew it had to meet ministry approval, it needed to provide students with real-world skills that are current, and it had to be done faster and cheaper than traditional means.
Adamec and her team positioned IBM to be more of a business partner than just a solutions provider. With on-staff personnel who develop course curriculum for higher ed, academic partners don’t need to bear the cost or burden of full-time staff to manage curriculum development. And because IBM has a team of technical experts, the enterprise-level software offering can be paired with curriculum to deliver a cutting-edge, up-to-date learning experience.
These academic solutions are updated frequently, and delivered to universities at a huge cost savings, functioning more like a Software as a Service (SaaS) offering. By flipping the standard, slower model of curriculum development on its head, Adamec and her team deliver subscription-based, digital solutions that’ll help schools and learners better access tech skills to fill a desperate workforce need.
With huge success across the Canadian academic landscape, Adamec will bring the [email protected] experience to the WeaveSphere technology conference happening in November.
Attracting industry leaders, academics and developers, WeaveSphere is an innovation event taking place Nov 15-17 in Toronto.
As part of the conference’s Education Day, developed by Adamec, high school, undergraduate, and graduate students will have the opportunity to participate in a full day bootcamp on Design Thinking, a problem-solving methodology that first identifies the end result and stakeholders. Even more, students will earn an IBM MyLearning microcredential at the end of the course. The course will be open twice, with 80 spots each session.
“We are excited about giving students and academics the opportunity to weave ideas and research with challenges of the business world,” says Adamec. “With Enterprise Design Thinking, everyone is welcome to the problem-solving table and we find these moments are incredible opportunities for young people to engage with, and learn from people in the workforce.”
The WeaveSphere Education Day and IBM’s Design Thinking course allows students to leverage a valuable learning experience that’ll deliver them a leg up in both their professional and personal lives.
“It’s the type of course that is open to all learning disciplines,” she elaborates. “Whether you’re in finance, liberal arts, tech, engineering, medicine — whatever you’re studying, you don’t have to be an IT guru to do Design Thinking.”
And it’s these opportunities that make WeaveSphere an impactful experience for students. The opportunity to ‘weave’ with and learn from experts and industry leaders is, simply put, unforgettable.
As student and passionate “weaver” Ali Hamdy explained, “it was cool having a voice among people who are way more experienced than me and way more educated than me. And it was cool for them to actually sit down and listen to me and respond.”
Interested in earning a Design Thinking microcredential? Visit WeaveSphere for more information and to register for Education Day.
Digital Journal is an official media partner for WeaveSphere. We will share updates leading up to the event, and we’ll be live on location from November 15-17,2022. Join us and get your tickets at weavesphere.co.