IBM.jpgIBM has opened two new software development centres in Beijing and Pune, India. Nothing startling about that, you might think.

However, both centres will develop software solutions using the
much-vaunted Service Oriented Architecture model, which is one of
hottest buzzwords in the software industry today.

Put simply, SOA represents a faster, more efficient way of building
applications that does not require developers to re-invent the wheel
with each new client engagement.

The Beijing centre will have 500 employees and develop solutions in
two vertical markets, government and financial services. In the first
area, SOA services could include financial and case management, while
in banking, a typical application for SOA might be real-time,
risk-based loan pricing. The Indian centre is focussing on the
insurance industry.

Worldwide, IBM has trained more than 90,000 consultants to work with
clients on SOA so clearly Big Blue is placing a big bet on SOA. Its not
the only one, of course, and we won't bore readers with a discussion of
the merits of SOA, but rather signal two aspects that most caught our
attention about this announcement.

First, IBM believes China's software development industry is
sufficiently mature that it is ready to employ techniques such as SOA
that are only just taking root in the west.

And second, China is now on an equivalent footing with India. The
parity is not so much in terms of experience and technical competence
— India still has a lot more development centres certified to CMM
Level 5, than China for example — but rather in terms of openness to
innovation in using new techniques and methods.

IBM's announcement is one more sign that China's nascent software development industry is evolving fast.