International Business Machines (IBM) is the world’s largest software company according to the 2010 Forbes Global 2000 and the fourth largest global technology company according to the 2009 Data monitor.

IBM was founded in 1911 and is headquartered in New York USA. It employs almost 400,000 employees in over 200 countries, in occupations ranging from scientists, to engineers, to consultants, and to sales professionals. Its unique innovation culture and product branding has conferred onto it, the nickname Big Blue. In 2010, Fortune, the #2 best global brand by Interbrand and the #3 green company by Newsweek ranked it as the #1 company for leaders.

IBM has been manufacturing and selling both computer hardware and software for decades, as well as offering infrastructure, hosting and consulting services, in areas ranging from mainframe computers to nanotechnology. IBM is a big investor in R&D and has nine research laboratories worldwide. It has been awarded more patents than any other U.S.-based technology company. Remarkably, IBM employees have already collected numerous prestigious science awards, including five Nobel Prizes, four Turing Awards, nine National Medals of Technology, and five National Medals of Science.

IBM has been present in the Middle East since 1947, when it established the first information-handling system in the Kingdom for the Arabian American Oil Company (ARAMCO), followed by the establishment of its service organization in 1956.

In 1968 the E.A. Juffali & Bros were appointed agents of IBM and almost a decade later, they carried on to establish Saudi Business Machines Ltd. (SBM), becoming PC dealers. Toward the early 90s, SBM became the nationwide General Marketing and Service Representative (GMSR) of IBM World Trade. In the mid 90s, IBM had remarketing, distribution, and service agreement with SBM, solidifying their longstanding partnership. Other important landmarks later, were the IBM distribution agreements for Iraq and more recently, in 2009, the installment of the Super Computer (Blue Gene) in KAUST University, the Kingdom’s most technologically advanced university.

The IBM-SBM partnership is one with an important solid history, but also one with a promising hopeful future.