MOSCOW, June 19, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- IBM (NYSE: IBM) has announced the opening of 10 new branch offices across Russia and the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS) as part of a major initiative to capture regional business growth and increase its presence in the fastest growing markets in the world.
The move is part of an incremental investment of $6 million that IBM will make this year in the Russia and CIS region to expand its operations and increase its footprint to 22 offices. To strengthen its support for clients and partners, IBM will also double its staff in the Russian regions and CIS countries by the end of 2012. IBM will also strengthen its business partner network across the region to over 4,000 partners this year.
"In recent years the business opportunity outside of Moscow has grown substantially and there are strong signs that this will increase in the future," said Kirill Korniliev, Country General Manager, IBM Russia & CIS. "By expanding our branch network and hiring new staff, we are tapping into new growth opportunities and increasing our ability to provide advanced solutions and services to our clients and partners across the region."
In Russia, IBM will open new branches in the cities of Voronezh, Ufa, Khabarovsk, Tyumen, Chelyabinsk, Nizhny Novgorod, Samara and Krasnodar which have all experienced strong economic growth in recent years. In Ukraine, IBM will open offices in the cities of Kharkiv and Donetsk, the largest industrial centers in the country. IBM is also looking at extending its presence in Kazakhstan and Uzbekistan which have some of the strongest growth rates in the CIS region and where IBM is already present in the cities of Almaty and Tashkent.
Analyst data underlines the importance of the business opportunity in Russia and the CIS region.
"Russia has a good growth record - its real GDP has increased by 67% since 2000 and its GDP per head makes it a wealthy economy by emerging market standards," said Aidan Manktelow, Associate Editorial Director Europe, Economist Intelligence Unit. "Other countries in the CIS are also displaying considerable dynamism driven by natural resources, economic links with Russia, and improving business environments."
"There are few IT markets in the world that have shown the levels of growth we have seen in Russia over the last 10 years," said Robert Farish, Director, IDC in Russia and CIS. "IBM's geographic expansion initiative in Russia is in line with the government's realization that the successful modernization of the Russian economy will only be possible if investment outside of Moscow is given higher priority. It also supports the growth of businesses outside of Moscow that in the past have lacked the IT skills and support from IT service providers and which represent a growing part of Russia's IT opportunity."
Branching out across Russia
The new Russian branches give IBM a direct presence across seven of Russia's Federal Districts:
- In the Central Federal District, IBM is opening offices in the industrial cities of Voronezh and Samara in addition to its headquarters in Moscow.
- In the Southern Federal District known for tourism and agriculture, IBM is opening a new branch in the city of Krasnodar in addition to its existing office in the city of Rostov-on-Don.
- In the Volga Federal District – an important hub for science and IT - IBM is opening branches in Nizhny Novgorod and Ufa in addition to its existing office in Kazan.
- In the Ural Federal District known for machine building and logistics, IBM is opening new branches in Chelyabinsk and Tyumen in addition to those in Yekaterinburg and Perm.
- In the Far Eastern District - an important hub for trade and logistics - IBM is opening a new branch in the city of Khabarovsk near to the North East border of China.
- In the Siberian Federal District, IBM has existing offices in the cities of Krasnoyarsk and Novosibirsk which have become centers for R&D and healthcare in recent years.
- In the Northwestern Federal District, IBM has an existing office in St Petersburg – a major center of trade, finance and industry.
With a direct presence in Moscow dating back to 1974, IBM has been operating across the Russian regions for a number of years and has existing clients in many of the new locations. For example, in the Ural District – home to an established metal engineering industry - IBM has recently provided a new asset management system to Chelyabinsk Pipe Rolling Mill. In Nizhny Novgorod, the Srednevolzhskaya Gas Company has implemented an IBM Tivoli solution to monitor and increase the efficiency of its operations. IBM also announced recently that it is working with a number of hospitals and clinics in the Russian regions to help modernize healthcare.
IBM is also helping a number of successful Russian businesses with their own expansion strategies. For example, IBM is a partner to Russian hypermarket retailer Lenta which in recent years has expanded its operations to 43 stores across 20 cities in the country.
"Given the fierce competition in the Russian retail market and the importance of having first mover advantage in the Russian regions, technology enables us to keep our operations efficient, scalable and focused on our customers" explains Vsevolod Kuzmich, IT Director, Lenta Retail Stores. "We see IBM as a valuable partner and its extended branch network will help us to accelerate our business growth across the country."
Making markets in Ukraine
In addition to its existing offices in Kiev and Dnipropetrovsk in Ukraine, IBM will also open new branches in the cities of Kharkiv and Donetsk. Both cities are important industrial centers and have some of Ukraine's fastest GDP growth rates. IBM is already working with a number of clients in the cities in the banking, metallurgical, chemicals and retail sectors. For example, IBM is working closely with the First International Ukrainian Bank located in Donetsk to provide the IT infrastructure it needs to transform its business operations and increase competitiveness.
IBM is also working with Ukrainian home improvement retailer Epicenter providing solutions and services to support the roll out of a major store expansion program across the country.
"Over the past 8 years we opened 36 stores across Ukraine," said Zoya Gubenko, IT Director, Epicenter. "By partnering with IBM and leveraging the latest technologies, we are able to ensure that we are ahead of the game in our business expansion program."
Investing in future growth
IBM is also investing in skills to support the development of the Russian regions and CIS countries. For example, in Russia IBM is partnering with Ufa Government State University to implement an IBM supercomputer enabling over 20,000 students to develop skills in high-performing computing. In Ukraine, IBM is a longstanding partner to the Kharkiv Polytechnic Institute - the largest university in Kharkiv. Through IBM's Academic Initiative, students at the institute have access to the latest IBM technologies and approaches.
IBM also has an active citizenship program in place to support regional economic development. For example, last year several international IBM teams were deployed to the city of Sochi in the Krasnodar region of Russia to help develop an electronic government system.
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