A message from Stephen Leonard,
former Chief Executive, IBM UK and Ireland
The United Kingdom & Ireland are proud to join IBM in celebrating a century of progress.
The United Kingdom has been an integral part of IBM’s global operations since 1912 when the International Time Recording Company (the predecessor to IBM UK) was formed. IBM’s Ireland operations began in September 1956 when it opened its offices in Dublin. Today, IBM United Kingdom & Ireland maintains its position as a leader in technology and business services in the European market, serving clients in many different industries. Explore our stories and contributions to IBM – and join us in our ongoing pursuit of progress.
United Kingdom and Ireland’s Local Stories
IBM UK’s University Relations Programme – a partnership to remember
IBM is always trying to ensure a sustainable future, and IBM’s UK University Relations Programme aims to do exactly that, by ensuring we have the right skills for sustainable growth. Skills are vital for the UK economy if it is to retain its competiveness and make progress in the future, which is why IBM is partnering with a number of universities across the country. The aim is to expand the resources and experiences offered to students, better preparing them for the careers of tomorrow with skills that will stimulate growth and drive innovation.
Start Now, Start Today
For the past decade we are constantly told to stop. Stop consuming so much fuel, stop using so much electricity, stop eating non-sustainable produce and stop creating so much rubbish. There is so much confusion about what we can and can’t do, people don’t know how they can help and so they stop, and so nothing changes. To overcome these issues we need to think about things differently, which is why The Prince's Charities Foundation has set up a national initiative called Start. Rather than telling people to stop, Start is a new initiative which aims to help people across the UK Start being more sustainable in everyday life, encouraging them to promote and celebrate sustainable living.
Red Funnel’s Twittering Ferries
Red Funnel has been operating passenger and vehicle ferry services between Southampton, on the UK mainland, and Cowes on the Isle of Wight (IOW), for nearly 150 years. The ferries provide a vital link with the mainland for IOW residents and businesses. Any delay or cancellation can have significant impact, so Red Funnel is always looking for ways to make its passengers’ journeys more efficient. As luck may have it, one IOW resident who regularly used the Red Funnel ferries to commute to work on the mainland was IBM Master Inventor and Distinguished Engineer, Andy Stanford-Clark.
IBM Hursley brings colour and speech to computing
Since 100BC, the site of IBM’s Hursley development lab has been variously an Iron Age hill fort, a castle, a hunting lodge, a hospital, aircraft workshops and is now the largest software development laboratory in Europe. Today, IBM Hursley has over 2,000 employees on site, including over 1,400 software developers and 29 Master Inventors. This team has applied for over 1,210 patents since the millennium, and the labs have consistently played a vital role in IBM’s worldwide R&D organisation.
Hursley has been responsible for several of the key products in the history of computing, including bringing speech and colour to computers for the very first time.
IBM helps the All England Club stage the pre-eminent Grand Slam Championship
For two weeks every year, the All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club (AELTC), a small private members’ club, scales up its infrastructure to stage the Grand Slam Wimbledon Tennis Championships. During Wimbledon the Club accommodates around ½ million spectators and the world’s sporting media on site, and over ¾ billion television viewers on 129 TV channels in 173 countries. In 2011 over 15.6 million unique users visited the official Wimbledon website, 451 million page views were served and 881 thousand people downloaded the IBM Wimbledon iPhone app.
In 1900, only 13 percent of the world's population lived in cities. By 2050, that number will have risen to 70 percent. We are adding the equivalent of seven New Yorks to the planet every year. If there was ever a time to focus on the smart growth of our urban areas, that time is now.
IBM helps Ryanair develop ground-breaking kiosk technology
Ryanair, one of Europe’s first low fares airlines, is familiar with blazing a trail. Its strategy of low basic ticket prices with an increasing selection of optional extras has proved extremely successful and is already transforming how other airlines operate around the world. With plans for continued double digit growth each year for the next three to four years, the company saw kiosks as the way forward and chose IBM as partner in this project.
Featured Icons of Progress
Securing Online Transactions
CICS has played a fundamental part in the history of both computing and the IBM UK Hursley lab. Yet many are unaware of the importance of its role in enabling extreme transaction processing scalability, and underpinning global commerce.
Medicine On Demand
Malaria is a deadly disease that infects almost 250 million people and kills approximately 800,000 each year in sub-Saharan Africa. Although the disease is treatable and preventable, medicines do not always reach the patients who need them. In 2009, a groundbreaking project ‘SMS for life’ was developed by IBM, Vodafone and Novartis, helping to make sure people get the life-saving drugs they need. UK employee Pete Ward, is Project Manager for SMS for Life and the brainchild behind the solution.
Innovating the Fan Experience
Not too long ago, if you didn’t have a ticket to the Wimbledon Championships, you would have to stand outside listening for the sound of hands clapping to try to figure out what was going on inside. That was until 2010, when IBM made it possible to virtually see through the walls at Courts 1, 2 and Centre Court.
Smarter Water Management
IBM’s ‘SmartBay’ Project helps Ireland’s Galway Bay become more intelligent.
A Global Innovation Jam
IBM UK helps Coventry launch the first UK city-wide online brainstorm.