IBM invests in regional Australia

IBM plans to create between 200-300 jobs in the regional Victoria with the establishment of a new regional software solutions centre at the University of Ballarat.

The solutions centre, which is expected to open in April 2003, will be located in a refurbished building on the grounds of the University of Ballarat. The vendor expects the building to house 60 existing employees and 200 new employees.

The facility will be a software development centre based around Linux and open source technologies. It will be staffed by both professional developers and University students on an "earn as you learn" undergraduate program. A percentage of graduates each year are expected to win roles within IBM.

IBM has been running managed services from a data centre facility in Ballarat since 1995, providing application management, customer care management, project management, technical support, storage and security services for Australian customers. Some staff from this centre will move to the new facility at the University of Ballarat.

The announcement is a breathe of fresh air for the Victorian ICT industry, which less than a week earlier was rocked by the announcement that Ericsson would be culling its local research and development labs. Many of the labs' 450-strong workforce were based in Victoria.