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IBM bolsters Green Sigma services with support of other infrastructure heavyweights

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When you're trying to evangelize a smarter planet, it helps to bring along a few friends who can bring more intelligence to the equation. The battle l...

When you're trying to evangelize a smarter planet, it helps to bring along a few friends who can bring more intelligence to the equation.

The battle lines are definitely being drawn as far as which companies in high-tech really hope to plunge deep into providing technology solutions that satisfy the ENTIRE infrastructure needs of a given business, not just the information technology (IT) needs.

IBM has rallied together what it is calling the Green Sigma Coalition, a group of technology providers that will work to integrate their products and services into IBM's grand Green Sigma services scheme.

The Green Sigma service, which was introduced last year, is a consulting offering that looks at the entire scope of a company's energy and water consumption, and waste and greenhouse gas emissions, measures them and makes recommendations about how to manage them better. The service moves out of IBM's traditional home in the data center out into office facilities, distribution centers, manufacturing sites and so on. It represents the underpinnings of IBM's broad "smarter planet" mantra. Here a post I wrote about Green Sigma last year for my GreenTech Pastures blog.

A pretty impressive set of companies has pledged to work with IBM on the Green Sigma service portfolio. They include building controls giants Honeywell Building Solutions, Johnson Controls and Siemens building Technologies Division; power technology and distribution players ABB, Eaton and Schneider Electric; sustainability software provider ESS; and networking giant Cisco (which is putting a big push behind its EnergyWise energy management solution).

Two other software players have also cast their lots with IBM: enterprise collaboration player Novell and content management solution provider Thunderhead, both of which have been blessed with the IBM Energy and Environment Validation for their software.

Why does a coalition like this matter? After all, it doesn't say anywhere that these relationships are exclusive. But the one thing that makes IBM's approach to helping companies with their overall sustainability concerns is its ability to talk the language of both business and IT, which will make a world of difference as businesses look to holistic technologies that automate much more than just their PCs and networks.

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Heather Clancy

Section Editor

Heather Clancy has written for United Press International, ZDNet, Entrepreneur, Fortune Small Business, the International Herald Tribune and the New York Times. She holds a degree from McGill University. She is based in New Jersey. Follow her on Twitter. Disclosure