IBM Center of Innovation for Linux and Open Standards is Launched in Kazakhstan

IBM has opened a Center of Innovation for Linux and Open Standards in the capital city of the Republic of Kazakhstan, with the goal of driving the development and adoption of open standards and open source technologies among the businesses and government organizations of Kazakhstan.  Opened under a comprehensive Memorandum of Understanding, signed by IBM and the Kazakhstan Ministry of Information & Communications, the agreement covers several areas of cooperation. The IBM Center of Innovation for Linux and Open Standards will help local software developers increase their Linux and open standards expertise and better connect them to the worldwide Linux community. As part of this process, IBM will develop new ways to apply information technologies to improve business life in Kazakhstan.

Speaking to customers and the press about the importance of Linux and open source in Astana, Kazakhstan, on the opening day of the new center, Inna Kuznetsova, vice president, Systems Software, IBM, observed that global forces are driving a fundamentally different world. These forces include the global financial crisis which has changed business priorities - and the IT that supports them, as well as fast-developing communities that are driving constant technology change.

IBM believes that Linux and open solutions provide immediate and future value for rapidly growing economies; that a deep, joint commitment to the technical advancement of Linux benefits all; and that a well-founded Linux and virtualization strategy is critical to Kazakhstan's continued growth and success, Kuznetsova said. IBM leads with solutions that enable choice, and IBM offers top-to-bottom, end-to-end solutions with Linux, she noted.

Like many emerging markets, Kazakhstan faces the ambitious task of growing and enhancing its IT infrastructure quickly to match the demands of a new economy, pointed out Ross Mauri, general manager IBM Power Systems. With open source and standards-based computing, Kazakhstan can avoid the pitfalls of an expensive, proprietary infrastructure and build a flexible IT foundation to expedite economic development.

The initial key projects and initiatives of the center include providing support to regional ISVs and IBM business partners to localize major worldwide applications and ensure availability of key local applications on Linux; developing prototypes of e-government services and other government projects based on Linux and open source; developing e-learning solutions for the Kazakh system of professional training; and promoting Linux and open source adoption in Kazakhstan and establishing closer and collaboration with the worldwide Linux and open source communities through Linux seminars, local events, speakers at IT conferences and exchange programs.

Five professors from Kazakh-British Technical University (KBTU) have also been awarded certificates for Linux education starting in summer 2010, as part of an initiative coordinated by the IBM Center of Innovation for Linux and Open Standards in Astana.  KBTU works closely with IBM to implement an open source curriculum to increase students' expertise in Linux, helping to bridge the gap between the available and required number of IT professionals for accelerated technology development in Kazakhstan.

For more information on the Linux resources IBM provides at its IBM Innovation Centers, go here. For more information on IBM's Linux offerings, go here.