IBM has announced it has bought software firm Curam Software as it moves further into the increasingly lucrative market for smart city development.
The deal will involve the takeover of the Irish firm to offer services to governments such as delivering welfare and providing a clear overview of benefits systems, among other services. With Eurogeddon fast approaching, IBM is seemingly hoping that there is money to be made from the lengthening dole queues tailing outside Job Centres.
Apparently Curam is already working with 80 government agency projects across the globe and the deal with Big Blue should open up opportunities for further programmes as IBM continues to splash out on smart cities.
Curam’s software is aimed at helping governments improve efficiency in their social and health services, which ties in with IBM’s Smarter Cities initiative. IBM has already been making further moves into offering more services for cities and governments. This also involves the acquisition of intelligence analytics firm for crime and fraud prevention, i2, and the introduction of its own Intelligent Operations Center, which provides software for a unified view of city agencies.
According to Craig Hayman, General Manager of IBM Industry Solutions, the deal will help interaction between governments and citizens. He claims that “long lines” or “countless phone calls” to get access to government services could be a thing of the past.
An announcement made by IBM today claimed Curam’s software will also help lower costs by ensuring that benefits and services “address core issues” and that people become “more self sufficient”. Quite how this will be achieved is unclear, though we are now awaiting some Big Society rhetoric from IBM in the near future.
Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed.