Feb 03 2015

IBM SmartCloud Powers an International Approach to Education

A French business school is powering its courses with IBM's cloud technology.

IBM is taking its Big Data and cloud capabilities overseas to help transform a French institution into a "smart business school" with international reach.

EMLYON Business School has partnered with IBM to use the company’s technologies to provide a more personalized education experience to its international students.

Cloud computing techniques can make education more compelling and encourage students to explore more topics, Katharine Frase, vice president and CTO of IBM’s public sector, told EdTech. It’s also a technology that makes sense for a school that intends to offer courses in multiple languages to countries on multiple continents.

“We’re interested in how cloud computing can help you not only on the efficiency side of education, but particularly on the digitized side — to enable you to be more nimble and to have more global reach,” Frase said.

EMLYON is also at the drawing-board stage with IBM on how its cognitive computing system Watson could bolster the school’s efforts, particularly Watson’s potential to overcome language barriers.

IBM's SmartCloud is a software-as-a-service offering that gives schools a cloud-based content-delivery system. EMLYON will be taking advantage of the system's versatility to offer business courses at the school’s campuses in France, China and Morocco as well as on "pop-up" campuses in emerging markets, such as West Africa.

“What we believe is genuinely new about this initiative is that it will allow us to deliver content and coaching that are absolutely relevant to each participants’ needs and aspirations, wherever they are in the world and at every step on their career path,” said Bernard Belletante, dean of EMLYON, in a press release. “So, in a similar way that users today can cherry-pick their entertainment, our community will be able to choose when, where and how much it learns.”