IBM Announces New Collar Apprenticeship Accelerator for IBM Z

ARMONK, N.Y., Nov. 19, 2020 /PRNewswire/ — IBM (NYSE: IBM) today announced an expansion of the company’s IBM Z skills initiatives to include a new nationwide IT Infrastructure apprenticeship accelerator program – establishing an onramp for IBM Z Ecosystem clients looking to hire new collar talent across system administrators, system programmers and application developer roles.

In keeping with IBM’s commitment to make the digital era an inclusive one by expanding opportunity for people from all backgrounds and communities to build skills for in-demand careers, this new collar IBM Z skills training program will recruit and develop candidates from across the United States with no previous technology experience required.

Delivered in collaboration with Franklin Apprenticeships and the Urban Institute, the program provides participating IBM Z clients with a no-charge apprenticeship accelerator. Coupled with IBM’s apprenticeship model serving to establish foundational knowledge, clients and new apprentices can gain the benefit of Franklin Apprenticeships experience as an intermediary. Throughout the program, apprentices receive learning paths based on joint client-defined competency standards, more than 300 hours of virtual training, access to subject matter expertise and mentorship from IBM, and dedicated success managers.

IBM also is announcing today that M&T Bank has signed on as the inaugural employer partner for this program. As part of the program – which M&T has branded as its Z Development Program (ZDP) Mainframe Apprenticeship – M&T Bank plans grow their skilled, diverse talent pool in the Buffalo, New York area and will accelerate the bank’s digital transformation with the hire of 10 apprentices anticipated to start in January 2021.

“In Buffalo, our regional tech ecosystem has continued to gain momentum, even as we’ve navigated the challenges of the pandemic. Working collaboratively, business, government and nonprofit leaders are focused on developing, retaining and attracting tech talent to buildout our city’s innovation corridor and strengthen our regional economy,” said Mike Wisler, Chief Information Officer at M&T Bank. “Our goal for the ZDP initiative is to ensure M&T Bank has the depth of talent necessary to efficiently operate our IBM Z systems, which are essential to banking functions our customers rely on, and it can contribute to the wider, regional efforts underway in Western New York to build an inclusive workforce equipped with the skills necessary to compete in the global economy. In a historically blue-collar city, IBM’s new-collar apprenticeship program serves as another mechanism to help build a resilient, skilled workforce and foster a more inclusive economic recovery.”

“As companies accelerate their journey to hybrid cloud, unlocking the full value of digital transformation including resiliency, security, and application modernization will require cultivating a vibrant, skilled and inclusive workforce,” said Meredith Stowell, Vice President, IBM Z Ecosystem. “IBM created this accelerator program to help our ecosystem grow these skills, not only with the inaugural employers but as a scalable model to help simplify apprenticeship adoption for clients and provide another path to a sustainable, diverse workforce.”

IBM has stepped forward with multiple initiatives to promote an inclusive workforce with a focus on skills aligned with new collar jobs: well-paying roles that require specific, in-demand skills but not necessarily a traditional bachelor’s degree. These programs range from 21st century apprenticeships, innovative approaches to high-school career and technical education, coding camps, community college partnerships, returnships and more.

As part of the pre-apprenticeship program that IBM will provide in support of each client’s IBM Z apprenticeship initiative, each candidate will receive an introduction to computer science, complete Master the Mainframe levels one and two, and complete a curriculum of z/OS practitioner training – all remotely. Following the pre-apprenticeship, candidates will be presented to employers for hiring into a one year earn-while-you-learn apprenticeship with additional technical and on-the-job training. Upon successful completion, all apprentices will earn a credential recognized by the U.S. Department of Labor. 

“Franklin’s employers find tech and new collar apprenticeships to be a valuable and cost effective tool in bringing talent and diversity to their organization, but in the U.S., IT apprenticeships are largely a well-kept secret” said Kim Nichols, Chief Executive Officer at Franklin Apprenticeships. “IBM, who has been a pioneer and innovator in the apprenticeship space is now leading the way with their customer base. It’s exciting to work with this group of IBM Z pre-apprentices as they take the first steps towards a tech career.”  

“This is an important collaboration that will expand the IT workforce through apprenticeships in high-demand occupations,” said Diana Elliott, Principal Research Associate at Urban Institute. “In hiring apprentices for their potential, rather than their credentials, this program will help open up opportunities to countless candidates who otherwise might not have had the chance to pursue such careers.”

IBM’s new collar apprenticeship program, launched in 2017, provides learn-while-you-earn skills training and career development opportunities for both students and working professionals. The program grew twice as fast as anticipated in its first year and has expanded from three career tracks at launch to more than twenty today. The apprenticeship accelerator builds on these successful programs and partnerships to expand IBM’s model to additional employers and create more opportunities for Americans to build in demand skills.

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IBM Enters Esports Arena with Activision Blizzard in New Multi-Year Deal as the Presenting Partner of the Overwatch League Grand Finals

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Starting in 2021, IBM and the Overwatch League will be working closely to develop technology solutions leveraging IBM's expertise in natural language processing and machine learning to improve the league's rankings system, and utilize IBM's Watson AI capabilities to create live and in-broadcast predictive analysis, with specific solutions currently under development. "We're constantly striving to give fans the ability to more meaningfully engage with the Overwatch League, and teaming up with IBM enables us to do just that," said Brandon Snow, Chief Revenue Officer of Activision Blizzard Esports. "IBM's cutting-edge AI and machine learning, underpinned by cloud technologies, will help enable us to bring interactive and innovative engagement opportunities to our fans and teams. This is a fantastic benefit to our viewers, and we're very excited to be announcing it during the biggest event of our season." "We're thrilled to bring our world class Cloud platforms and Watson portfolio to one of the leading esports platforms in the world," said Noah Syken, Vice President of Sports & Entertainment Partnerships, IBM. "The solutions we're partnering to create can help the organizations, players, and fans enjoy an even more immersive, engaging experience. We look forward to working with the Overwatch League, to bring innovative solutions at scale, to broad and relevant audiences." The sponsorship with the Overwatch League will kick off in 2021 and include new solutions, that plan to be hosted on the IBM Cloud. Those solutions, which are currently under development, will leverage IBM's suite of analytics tools to process in-match data, adding Watson's AI capabilities through the use of Watson Machine Learning and the AutoAI functionality within Watson Studio. Additionally, the solutions will find new ways to showcase the wide array of historical statistics that the Overwatch League gets from live play.  The announcement of IBM and the Overwatch League teaming together is IBM's first foray into the global world of esports and joins an impressive list of sports and entertainment partnerships that IBM technology powers around the world. IBM has been a part of gaming history as a hardware manufacturer, chip creator, and software provider for developers since 1985. Over the past 35 years, IBM has worked with gaming and esports entities through PowerPC processors, NLP, and cloud technology. IBM has been a long-time partner to a range of sports organizations, teams, and events, including tennis (US Open and Wimbledon), golf (The Masters), football (via ESPN Fantasy Football), and the GRAMMY Awards. Through IBM's partnerships, including IBM's new engagement with the Overwatch League, IBM is able to reimagine sports, and entertainment experiences for fans, players and coaches alike, leveraging the flexibility of the hybrid cloud, and other AI-powered solutions. About IBMFor more information about IBM, visit About the Overwatch League™The Overwatch League™ is the first major global professional esports league with city-based teams across Asia, Europe, and North America. Overwatch® was created by globally acclaimed publisher Blizzard Entertainment (a division of Activision Blizzard—Nasdaq: ATVI), whose iconic franchises have helped lay the foundations and push the boundaries of professional esports over the last 15 years. The latest addition to Blizzard's stable of twenty-two #1 games,* Overwatch was built from the ground up for online competition, with memorable characters and fast-paced action designed for the most engaging gameplay and spectator experiences. To learn more about the Overwatch League, visit About Blizzard Entertainment, Inc.Best known for blockbuster hits, including World of Warcraft®, Hearthstone®, Overwatch®, the Warcraft®, StarCraft®, and Diablo® franchises, and the multi-franchise Heroes of the Storm®, Blizzard Entertainment, Inc. (, a division of Activision Blizzard (Nasdaq: ATVI), is a premier developer and publisher of entertainment software renowned for creating some of the industry's most critically acclaimed games. Blizzard Entertainment's track record includes twenty-two #1 games* and multiple Game of the Year awards. The company's online gaming service, Blizzard®, is one of the largest online-gaming services in the world, with millions of active players. *Sales and/or downloads, based on internal company records and reports from key distributors. About Activision Blizzard EsportsActivision Blizzard Esports (ABE) is responsible for the development, operation, and commercialization of Activision Blizzard's professional gaming properties including the Overwatch League™, the Call of Duty® League™, Call of Duty Challengers™, Hearthstone® Masters, StarCraft® II esports, Warcraft® III: Reforged™, and the World of Warcraft® Arena World Championship and Mythic Dungeon International, among others. ABE also operates Tespa, the leader in collegiate esports. It is ABE's vision to be the most innovative, scalable, and valuable developer of global competitive entertainment. Cautionary Note Regarding Forward-looking Statements: Information in this press release that involves the Overwatch League's expectations, plans, intentions or strategies regarding the future, including statements about the collaboration with IBM, including the development of technology solutions, are forward-looking statements that are not facts and involve a number of risks and uncertainties. Factors that could cause the Overwatch League's actual future results to differ materially from those expressed in the forward-looking statements set forth in this release include unanticipated product delays, the COVID-19 pandemic and other factors identified in the risk factors sections of Activision Blizzard's most recent annual report on Form 10-K and any subsequent quarterly reports on Form 10-Q. The forward-looking statements in this release are based upon information available to the Overwatch League and Activision Blizzard as of the date of this release, and neither the Overwatch League nor Activision Blizzard assumes any obligation to update any such forward-looking statements. Forward-looking statements believed to be true when made may ultimately prove to be incorrect. These statements are not guarantees of the future performance of the Overwatch League or Activision Blizzard and are subject to risks, uncertainties and other factors, some of which are beyond its control and may cause actual results to differ materially from current expectations. Contacts IBM Angelena Overwatch LeagueKevin SOURCE IBM

IBM Reveals Next-Generation IBM POWER10 Processor

ARMONK, N.Y., Aug. 17, 2020 /PRNewswire/ -- IBM (NYSE: IBM) today revealed the next generation of its IBM POWER central processing unit (CPU) family: IBM POWER10. Designed to offer a platform to meet the unique needs of enterprise hybrid cloud computing, the IBM POWER10 processor uses a design focused on energy efficiency and performance in a 7nm form factor with an expected improvement of up to 3x greater processor energy efficiency, workload capacity, and container density than the IBM POWER9 processor.1   Designed over five years with hundreds of new and pending patents, the IBM POWER10 processor is an important evolution in IBM's roadmap for POWER. Systems taking advantage of IBM POWER10 are expected to be available in the second half of 2021. Some of the new processor innovations include: IBM's First Commercialized 7nm Processor that is expected to deliver up to a 3x improvement in capacity and processor energy efficiency within the same power envelope as IBM POWER9, allowing for greater performance.1 Support for Multi-Petabyte Memory Clusters with a breakthrough new technology called Memory Inception, designed to improve cloud capacity and economics for memory-intensive workloads from ISVs like SAP, the SAS Institute, and others as well as large-model AI inference. New Hardware-Enabled Security Capabilities including transparent memory encryption designed to support end-to-end security. The IBM POWER10 processor is engineered to achieve significantly faster encryption performance with quadruple the number of AES encryption engines per core compared to IBM POWER9 for today's most demanding standards and anticipated future cryptographic standards like quantum-safe cryptography and fully homomorphic encryption. It also brings new enhancements to container security. New Processor Core Architectures in the IBM POWER10 processor with an embedded Matrix Math Accelerator which is extrapolated to provide 10x, 15x and 20x faster AI inference for FP32, BFloat16 and INT8 calculations per socket respectively than the IBM POWER9 processor to infuse AI into business applications and drive greater insights. "Enterprise-grade hybrid clouds require a robust on-premises and off-site architecture inclusive of hardware and co-optimized software," said Stephen Leonard, GM of IBM Cognitive Systems. "With IBM POWER10 we've designed the premier processor for enterprise hybrid cloud, delivering the performance and security that clients expect from IBM. With our stated goal of making Red Hat OpenShift the default choice for hybrid cloud, IBM POWER10 brings hardware-based capacity and security enhancements for containers to the IT infrastructure level." IBM POWER10 7nm Form Factor Delivers Energy Efficiency and Capacity Gains IBM POWER10 is IBM's first commercialized processor built using 7nm process technology. IBM Research has been partnering with Samsung Electronics Co., Ltd. on research and development for more than a decade, including demonstration of the semiconductor industry's first 7nm test chips through IBM's Research Alliance. With this updated technology and a focus on designing for performance and efficiency, IBM POWER10 is expected to deliver up to a 3x gain in processor energy efficiency per socket, increasing workload capacity in the same power envelope as IBM POWER9. This anticipated improvement in capacity is designed to allow IBM POWER10-based systems to support up to 3x increases in users, workloads and OpenShift container density for hybrid cloud workloads as compared to IBM POWER9-based systems. 1 This can affect multiple datacenter attributes to drive greater efficiency and reduce costs, such as space and energy use, while also allowing hybrid cloud users to achieve more work in a smaller footprint. Hardware Enhancements to Further Secure the Hybrid Cloud IBM POWER10 offers hardware memory encryption for end-to-end security and faster cryptography performance thanks to additional AES encryption engines for both today's leading encryption standards as well as anticipated future encryption protocols like quantum-safe cryptography and fully homomorphic encryption. Further, to address new security considerations associated with the higher density of containers, IBM POWER10 is designed to deliver new hardware-enforced container protection and isolation capabilities co-developed with the IBM POWER10 firmware. If a container were to be compromised, the POWER10 processor is designed to be able to prevent other containers in the same Virtual Machine (VM) from being affected by the same intrusion. Cyberattacks are continuing to evolve, and newly discovered vulnerabilities can cause disruptions as organizations wait for fixes. To better enable clients to proactively defend against certain new application vulnerabilities in real-time, IBM POWER10 is designed to give users dynamic execution register control, meaning users could design applications that are more resistant to attacks with minimal performance loss. Multi-Petabyte Size Memory Clustering Gives Flexibility for Multiple Hybrid Deployments IBM POWER has long been a leader in supporting a wide range of flexible deployments for hybrid cloud and on-premises workloads through a combination of hardware and software capabilities. The IBM POWER10 processor is designed to elevate this with the ability to pool or cluster physical memory across IBM POWER10-based systems, once available, in a variety of configurations. In a breakthrough new technology called Memory Inception, the IBM POWER10 processor is designed to allow any of the IBM POWER10 processor-based systems in a cluster to access and share each other's memory, creating multi-Petabyte sized memory clusters. For both cloud users and providers, Memory Inception offers the potential to drive cost and energy savings, as cloud providers can offer more capability using fewer servers, while cloud users can lease fewer resources to meet their IT needs.  Infusing AI into the Enterprise Hybrid Cloud to Drive Deeper Insights As AI continues to be more and more embedded into business applications in transactional and analytical workflows, AI inferencing is becoming central to enterprise applications. The IBM POWER10 processor is designed to enhance in-core AI inferencing capability without requiring additional specialized hardware. With an embedded Matrix Math Accelerator, the IBM POWER10 processor is expected to achieve 10x, 15x, and 20x faster AI inference for FP32, BFloat16 and INT8 calculations respectively to improve performance for enterprise AI inference workloads as compared to IBM POWER9,2 helping enterprises take the AI models they trained and put them to work in the field. With IBM's broad portfolio of AI software, IBM POWER10 is expected to help infuse AI workloads into typical enterprise applications to glean more impactful insights from data. Building the Enterprise Hybrid Cloud of the Future With hardware co-optimized for Red Hat OpenShift, IBM POWER10-based servers will deliver the future of the hybrid cloud when they become available in the second half of 2021. Samsung Electronics will manufacture the IBM POWER10 processor, combining Samsung's industry-leading semiconductor manufacturing technology with IBM's CPU designs. Read more about how IBM POWER10 is expected to impact the enterprise hybrid cloud market, here: About IBM For more information about IBM Power Systems visit: Red Hat, Red Hat Enterprise Linux, the Red Hat logo and OpenShift are trademarks or registered trademarks of Red Hat, Inc. or its subsidiaries in the U.S. and other countries. Linux® is the registered trademark of Linus Torvalds in the U.S. and other countries. CONTACT: Sam Ponedal  1 3X performance is based upon pre-silicon engineering analysis of Integer, Enterprise and Floating Point environments on a POWER10 dual socket server offering with 2x30-core modules vs POWER9 dual socket server offering with 2x12-core modules; both modules have the same energy level. 2 10-20X AI inferencing improvement is based upon pre-silicon engineering analysis of various workloads (Linpack. Resnet-50 FP32, Resnet-50 BFloat16, and Resnet-50 INT8) on a POWER10 dual socket server offering with 2x30-core modules vs POWER9 dual socket server offering with 2x12-core modules. SOURCE IBM

Rolar de Cuyo Taps IBM Food Trust to Provide Insight on the Quality and Origin of its Extra Virgin Olive Oil

- Molinos Río de la Plata and Aceitera General Deheza are some of the clients of this family business from the province of San Juan, Argentina; - Now the company offers transparency that helps ensure the traceability of its natural products. Buenos Aires, October 2, 2020 — Rolar de Cuyo, a company producing high-quality international olive oil, and IBM (NYSE: IBM) today announce that Rolar is using IBM Blockchain to provide traceability for its olive oil across the production chain. This technology monitors the journey of the olive until it is converted into bulk oil, which is bought by renowned companies such as Aceitera General Deheza and Molinos Río de la Plata. According to the International Olive Council (IOC, Argentina produced 20,000 tons of olive oil in 2019 and Federación  Olivícola Argentina (FOA) estimates it will produce between 20,000 and 25,000 tons in 2020, with the vast majority of the country's production destined for international markets1. “ Our vision is to be the best extra virgin olive oil alternative for large companies that pack the product with their brand. For this reason, from Rolar de Cuyo we want the main extra virgin olive oil buyers worldwide to trust us and choose our products. To help achieve this, IBM blockchain technology provides the transparency we need to trace the origin of our products and support quality compliance processes to reach consumers' tables,” said Guillermo José Albornoz, Director at Rolar de Cuyo. By joining the IBM Food Trust, Rolar de Cuyo will use IBM blockchain technology on IBM Cloud to monitor the production process, from the moment the olive trees are planted to the selection and harvest of the olives to its conversion into extra virgin. Blockchain technology can help enable greater trust across the supply chain by creating an immutable, digitized record of transactions. Olive farmers and makers can all share information more efficiently using near real-time access to comprehensive product data. “We are increasingly aware of how important it is to know the origin and life cycle of the products we consume. Technology is an important ally in this regard and with IBM Food Trust we provide Rolar de Cuyo with a single source of secured and transparent information about the olives in the olive oils that they produce, helping encourage responsible food consumption throughout the population”, says Fabrizio Carbone, IBM Cloud & Data Manager at IBM Argentina. A recent IBM Institute for Business Value study found 71% of consumers surveyed will pay a premium for full transparency into the products they buy. Using blockchain technology creates a verifiable record of the production of olive oil, which can give consumers confidence in the origin and condition of the products they buy and eat. IBM Food Trust is one of the largest and most active non-crypto blockchain networks in production today, it is available as a subscription service for members of the food ecosystem to join. Several Argentine companies have joined this global network, that is not just for big companies. Recently, the startup S4—dedicated to creating technology to reduce climate and productive risk in crop production—joined the IBM Food Trust and incorporated blockchain technology into its S4Go product. In this way, the company is able to register the geographical location of the lots and their production technical information, creating visibility and responsibility in the origination chain from the initial moment. About Rolar de Cuyo We are a family business born in 2008 planting olive groves in the Province of San Juan. We produce the extra virgin olive oil that the leading brands use in their bottles. We give value to large companies with our product through a quality service. About IBM Food TrustFor more information, visit Contact:Analía CerviniIBM 1