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IBM Introduces Jam Consulting Service to Drive Dynamic New Forms of Collaboration

The Original Equipment Suppliers Association (OESA) Partners With IBM to Hold Online Jam to Generate New, Actionable Ideas in North American Auto Industry

IBM announced plans to collaborate with the Original Equipment Suppliers Association (OESA) to hold the first-ever Automotive Supplier Jam — an unprecedented online dialogue on the North American automobile industry’s general strategy, future, and opportunities for innovation. The OESA collaboration highlights a new Jam Consulting Service unveiled today by IBM Global Business Services, designed to help organizations drive innovation by initiating dynamic new forms of collaboration among employees, stakeholders, customers, partners and others. The new IBM Jam Consulting Service is available globally.

“Jams” are moderated forums where a select audience can engage in an online discussion for a concentrated time period. Based on unique online tools and moderation techniques, Jams provide organizations with an unprecedented way to surface, cultivate, and discuss new ideas, to collaborate on developing those ideas, and to drive new kinds of business innovation.

The Automotive Supplier Jam, a cooperative effort between OESA, IBM, and companies within the North American automotive industry, will be held for 72 consecutive hours on March 7-10, 2007. North American automotive supplier companies, automotive manufacturing companies, and industry influencers are currently registering to participate in the jam, which marks the first time a targeted industry will leverage IBM Jam methods and technologies.

“As today’s CEOs look to drive radical change and innovation in their organizations, they can draw new ideas from their extended workforce and partners through large-scale collaboration,” said Marc Chapman, Global Leader, Strategy and Change Consulting for IBM Global Business Services. “Jams help to facilitate dialogue in an open environment and all can benefit from the diversity of perspectives and collective brain-power of a focused, large-scale population.”

Jams can help organizations achieve specific objectives, such as: creating new methods for collaborating with partners; uncovering best industry practices; solving supply chain issues; enabling employees to create corporate principles; creating operations from strategy; and producing actionable ideas for general industry innovation.

IBM pioneered Jamming tools and methods and has deployed them widely across the company. Jamming has played a significant role in creating strategy, driving transformation, achieving operational efficiencies, and fostering innovation at IBM. Jams have become a fundamental and essential part of IBM’s operations and culture. The application of Jams to industries, organizations and companies is a next logical step.

The Automotive Supplier Jam and IBM’s new Jam Consulting Service will leverage tools and processes developed by IBM as part of its Jamming initiatives, including IBM Research’s eClassifier — a real-time text analysis and data mining tool that can help highlight emerging trends and distill actionable results; a refined process to engage tens of thousands of participants in real-time to generate deeper insights; post-event research to track user satisfaction and identify participation styles; and a robust event hosting infrastructure used for the online services of major sporting events around the world.

Moderators will play a critical role in helping drive the discussion during the Automotive Supplier Jam, and include: Honorable Jennifer Granholm, Governor of the State of Michigan; Bo Andersson, Vice President of Worldwide Purchasing for General Motors; Neil De Koker, President of OESA; and Gary Convis, Senior Vice President for Toyota Motor North America.

“The Automotive Supplier Jam will enable an innovative and democratic process where, without hierarchy, people across the industry can have the opportunity to come together to present and evaluate ideas,” said Neil De Koker, president for OESA. “We expect this event to engage, empower and stimulate thousands of participants, with the ultimate goal of turning ideas into action on critical issues related to transforming the North American automotive industry.”

After the Jam concludes, IBM and OESA will analyze the discussion threads to identify specific, actionable ideas and strategies that individual companies can apply to their businesses. The ideas shared in the Automotive Supplier Jam are open to all participants for discussion, refinement, and eventually, the collaborative development of solutions. For more information, visit:

“IBM’s Global CEO Study 2006 found that while 66 percent of automotive CEOs felt that collaboration was of significant to critical importance, only 39 percent felt they collaborate to a large extent, indicating that today’s automotive companies are seeking to collaborate externally, but are challenged to do so,” said Sanjay Rishi, Global Automotive Leader for IBM Global Business Services. “We have seen Jams drive collaboration to a new level within IBM and with our Business Partners and clients, and we are eager to work with OESA to engage the North American automotive industry in a discussion that we believe will bring industry collaboration to new heights.”

The History of Jams:

Since 2001, IBM has used Jams to involve its more than 300,000 employees around the world in far-reaching exploration and problem-solving. ValuesJam in 2003 gave IBM’s workforce the opportunity to redefine the core IBM values for the first time in nearly 100 years. During IBM’s 2006 InnovationJam — the largest IBM online brainstorming session ever held — IBM brought together more than 150,000 people from 104 countries and 67 companies. As a result, 10 new IBM businesses were launched with seed investment totaling $100 million.

Jams are not restricted to business. Their methods, tools and technology can also be applied to social issues. In 2005, over three days, the Government of Canada, UN-HABITAT and IBM hosted Habitat Jam. Tens of thousands of participants — from urban specialists, to government leaders, to residents from cities around the world — discussed issues of urban sustainability. Their ideas shaped the agenda for the UN World Urban Forum, held in June 2006. People from 158 countries registered for the Jam and shared their ideas for action to improve the environment, health, safety and quality of life in the world’s burgeoning cities.

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