IBM Canada Ltd. has announced what it describes as a major shift in its strategy to help customers automate and manage business processes tailored to their industry.

Big Blue has launched 62 middleware solutions for 12 industry verticals, including automotive, banking, consumer product, electronics,

energy and utilities, financial markets, government, health care, life sciences, retail and telecommunications.

Demand from customers and partners drove changes to the way Markham, Ont.-based IBM Canada packages its middleware products,  said Noel Paterson, director of software sales for IBM Canada. Customers don’t want to hear about general IT products — they want vendors with business expertise.

Although no Canadian organizations are using IBM’s new industry solutions as a bundle yet, some IBM customers used components before the official global launch.

Kristina Vermer, project officer of the Connecting Windsor-Essex portal in Ontario, says Windsor-Essex began using solutions that are now part of IBM’s e-government vertical products. The portal is based on WebSphere Portal 4.2 with a Lotus collaboration suite.

She says because Windsor-Essex’s stakeholders also fall into the health care and education sectors, there are other areas of IBM’s package that can complement the community’s portfolio of products.

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