Delivering shared value to clients in Eastern Europe through the IBM Ecosystem

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By Igor Pravica, General Manager and Technology leader, IBM Eastern Europe Territory I 7 min read

More than 90 years of working with our partner ecosystem as we jointly support clients with innovative technology and industry expertise and shape Eastern Europe economies

It was in the 1930s, with the opening of offices in Hungary and Bulgaria, that IBM began to write its story in Eastern Europe.

Over the past 90 years of our presence in the region, we have been continually transforming the howhow we engage with clients and how we create a partner ecosystem that thrives.

The pandemic has brought about years of change in the way companies in all sectors and regions do business. In some areas like e-commerce, organizations experienced the equivalent of 10 years of growth in less than one year. An urgency to build new businesses that create new advantages emerged. According to McKinsey, 7 in 10 CEOs are driving large-scale change in value creation, ways of working and processes (Source: McKinsey report).

Working closely with our partners to tackle and solve these specific business challenges at our clients’ side has never been more important.

Through the power of IBM and our partner ecosystem, combined with a vast technology portfolio and a hybrid cloud platform with Red Hat OpenShift at the core, we help drive transformative change for customers in Eastern Europe that allows them to modernize, predict, automate, and secure their critical technology infrastructure and platforms – in any industry they operate in.

Today at the IBM Eastern Europe Clients and Business Partner Roundtable, we announced several client engagements with leading companies in the region who have turned to IBM and the IBM Ecosystem to help them digitally reinvent:

  • In Bulgaria, First Investment Bank, one of the leading financial groups in the country, turned to IBM security to increase their cyber resiliency. The bank has deployed IBM Security QRadar®, a market-leading SIEM solution, across its entire IT landscape to gain comprehensive and centralized visibility into bank-wide security data and help the bank’s security teams detect, prioritize and respond to threats at clock speed. The solution underpins the bank’s commitment to implement high-technological solutions that provide its customers with opportunities for banking from any place around the world at any time while safeguarding their customers’ identities. Implementation was done by IBM business partner CNsys PLC.
  • IBM’s platinum business partner Inter-Computer Llc. and IBM’s business partner Barré Technologies have implemented a full IBM Data Warehouse stack at MVM Démász in Hungary, a member of MVM Group, a predominant player in the Hungarian energy system, as a core component of their business decision making. The solution enables the client to pull together data from many different sources into a single data repository by also utilizing IBM Data Model for Energy and Utilities for sophisticated analytics and decision support.
  • Banca Transilvania, Romania’s largest bank in terms of assets, serving over 3 million customers, has selected IBM technology to secure and automate its business. The bank relies on IBM Security QRadar for centralized visibility into company-wide security data and actionable insights into the highest priority threats, enabling them to make better response decisions. Also, by deploying the IBM Guardium Data Activity Monitor solution they can monitor database activities in real-time, automate compliance auditing and reporting as well as discover and classify data and data sources. Both solutions have been implemented and are maintained by IBM business partner K-BusinessCom Romania.
  • Also in Romania, Black Sea Oil & Gas is a Romanian-based independent energy company targeting offshore developments of gas resources in line with the European Union’s Zero Emissions Goal by 2050. Recently, they selected IBM Maximo to improve safety, productivity and reliability of the company’s assets and to better predict maintenance needs. The new solution will be the Maximo for Oil and Gas industry solution, which supports specific industry requirements including minimizing both unscheduled downtime due to equipment failure and time spent on maintenance. IBM’s business partner FIA Integra was trusted with the implementation and they worked hand-in-hand with the client’s IT department to successfully roll out the project in 5 months.
  • AIK Banka has been providing innovative banking products and services to its customers in Serbia for over 40 years. Recently, they partnered with IBM and IBM’s business partner Comtrade System Integration to develop a Business Process Management multichannel platform for bank’s retail loans. By deploying an IBM Business Automation Workflow solution, the bank increased operational efficiency, made faster time-to-yes and time-to-cash and thus increase client satisfaction, alongside automatized risk assessments and procedures to support their 24/7 business operations. With the new solution, AIK Banka gained a reliable and secure platform that can be used anywhere, on any device, with a consistent experience and persistent data across all channels. The solution has been implemented and is maintained by Comtrade System Integration.
  • In Slovenia, Zavarovalnica Triglav, one of the leading insurance-financial groups in Southeast Europe and the largest insurance company in Slovenia, chose IBM Cloud Object Storage to modernize its infrastructure. The IBM Expert Labs team and IBM business partner Smartis were trusted with the implementation, which resulted in advanced data migration from EMC Centera and integration of IBM Content Manager with Cloud Object Storage in a production environment without any service disruption. The new solution provides Zavarovalnica Triglav with a stable and robust object storage infrastructure allowing them to effectively manage their legal document archive and it supports future growing demands around object storage.

IBM + IBM Ecosystem = Shared value for clients in Eastern Europe

Clients are at the epicenter of IBM’s mission. We are providing them with leading technology and support to ensure their success. Partners play a key role, operating at the forefront to deliver solutions and applications. They are an essential vehicle of our market footprint and growth in the region.

That’s why, over the past years, as IBM honed its corporate strategy around two major forces driving business change—open hybrid cloud and AI—we have greatly expanded our partner ecosystem with new competencies, benefits and skills. Globally, we continue to invest in our partners to help them and their customers capture the $1 trillion hybrid cloud market opportunity.

We keep providing support to partners as we want them to

  • be the best in the industry at establishing a hybrid cloud and AI footprint for clients,
  • be confident in the skills and technical expertise they bring to client projects and
  • create unique client experiences.
    For example, we encourage partners to explore the new IBM Client Engineering capabilities in CEE , located in Prague and Warsaw. They can work alongside our experts on the agile co-creation of IBM technology and consulting solutions for clients in Eastern Europe – all within 6-8 weeks.

However, our joint effort with partners is not always about business.
It is also imperative upon us to serve the communities that we work in – especially now, in the difficult times of war in Ukraine. We recently launched an initiative in response to clients in Ukraine approaching us for immediate help in migrating their data to IBM Cloud for data protection and business continuity. Many of our partners across Central and Eastern Europe are joining the initiative with their technical assistance and expertise, and we encourage others to participate.

I look forward to our joint success.
Let’s create what’s next, together.

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