IBM announced today that YLZ, a Chinese IT solutions provider, chose IBM System z mainframe (running Linux) as the foundation of a plan to extend its “citizen livelihood service information network” to seven more provinces beyond Fujian. This means the service will become available for a total of about 300 million people. The company said it selected System z, which is also the dominant mainframe brand out there, thanks to its ability to scale easily.
Scaling will be a requirement for this network, which basically aggregates public services such as social insurance and aid programs, as well as local job listings and more, into one web-based platform.
“The project is aimed to help meet the government’s 12th five-year-plan focused on developing programs to improve the citizen’s overall well-being.
The new cloud services platform will enable the sharing of public resources and information while supporting service integration, improving government efficiency and ensuring effective administration of citizen services.”
Locals living in one of the provinces YLZ intends to cover will be able to access the portal via kiosks than will be installed in shopping centers, hospitals, banks etc that will require them to swipe a social insurance identity card. This naturally means there will be a lot of data flooding the system.
IBM is developing a strong strategy around big data and public services, mainly in the form of acquisitions. The company acquired i2, a data analytics solutions provider with a focus on the public sector for an undisclosed sum a few days ago. It also acquired Algorithmics for $387 million, a provider of risk analytics software and services that serves a lot of high profile clients including 25 of the world’s leading banks.