Broad School playing major role in new IBM Global Delivery Center

Publish Date: Thursday, March 12, 2009

The state of Michigan and IBM, in close partnership with Michigan State University, recently announced the creation of a Global Delivery Center for Application Services to be located on the MSU campus in East Lansing. The Broad School will play a major role in the partnership.

"The Broad School has enjoyed a long and rewarding relationship with IBM, and their new Global Delivery Center will allow us to strengthen our ties even more," says Eli Broad College of Business Dean Elvin Lashbrooke. "We anticipate that our college will be involved in this partnership in many ways, including providing executive education and opportunities for faculty and student research, and we will collaborate with other colleges and IBM to develop a broad spectrum of mutually beneficial initiatives. This is wonderful news for our state, our city and our university, and we're excited to be a part of it."

The Global Delivery Center will be the first of its kind in the U.S. for IBM. The center will provide innovative application development and support services to modernize older and less efficient IT systems for Michigan government agencies. Additionally, IBM will accommodate work from telecommunications, healthcare and other U.S. based clients in the center with a focus on modernizing older IT applications through process excellence, tooling automation and asset re-use.

IBM plans to collaborate with MSU professors to educate students and recent graduates on the application development techniques that will help to create a workforce prepared to lead in the current economic environment, which fits well with the strong relationship the Broad School has enjoyed with IBM over the last six years.

Broad School faculty have led several types of executive education seminars for the company, including the IBM Supply Chain Executive Education Program – a week-long program jointly developed and conducted by faculty from the Broad School, Pennsylvania State University, Arizona State University and the National University of Singapore – and the IBM Integrated SCM Program – a three-day program developed for the supply chain services division of IBM. David Closs, the John H. McConnell Chair in Business Administration in the department of Supply Chain Management, was the lead faculty member for both programs.

"The partnership between IBM and the MSU Supply Chain Management department has contributed substantially to advancing our research and teaching," says Closs. "The relationship has substantially enhanced our capabilities in technology, sustainability and services applications. We look forward to an even deeper relationship with IBM through local interaction with the Global Applications Center."

Closs – along with Supply Chain Management professors Morgan Swink and Judy Whipple and Associate Dean for MBA Programs and Accounting and Information Systems Professor Cheri Speier – have been researching how to apply supply chain principles to services operations. With a grant from IBM, a services science module was created to introduce the principles into master’s-level supply chain classes. The college has also been working with IBM to create an executive education version of the services course, with the National University of Singapore planning an offering in April 2009 with Michigan State as a sponsoring school.

Also, the college’s current focus on sustainability resulted from research conducted at IBM involving returnable packaging and security.

IBM expects to begin operations in the first quarter of this year in the MSU Credit Union building on campus, as the Credit Union has relocated their headquarters to another location. The state estimates that the move by IBM to bring jobs and employees to Michigan as part of the new center will create up to 1,500 new direct and indirect jobs over the next five years, with 100 new direct jobs by June 2009.