Washington, D.C., is the new home of an electronic-business innovation center

Washington, D.C., is the new home of an electronic-business innovation center, part of a global network of e-business centers, IBM Global Services Inc. announced Monday.

The centers will employ business strategists, interactive designers, application developers and systems integration specialists to help governments and companies move to the next generation of e-business, with the site in the nation's capital serving as the only one dedicated exclusively to the public sector, said Janet Caldow, director of IBM's Institute for Electronic Government.

"Governments have been coming to us for the last couple of years asking for this kind of service," Caldow said. "The public sector has been left a little behind but has as much -- or more -- to gain from [e-business], ... and we'll offer our understanding and expertise from public-sector experts to [state and local] governments."

The D.C.-based center will be co-located with the Institute (www.ieg.ibm.com).

Based on its model center in Atlanta, IBM opened e-business innovation centers in Chicago and Dallas and has plans to expand to Boston, Los Angeles and New York City in the next six months, said Neil Isford, vice president of e-business integration services.

Caldow said the development of centralized government services portals will be one of the first areas explored by her team. "We're going to develop portals that are organized from the citizens' point of view," she said.

IBM also plans to open centers in the United Kingdom and Germany, with future expansions to Italy, France and other countries, Isford said.

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