Ultimately, IBM foresees that the combination of these networks and other advances such as grid computing will allow businesses to buy computing power on demand, similar to the way electricity is purchased.

IBM's first such initiatives will be the opening of four On-Demand Design Centers, in the United States, Japan and elsewhere, to help customers test the new concepts and products. IBM is also adding to its consulting services a practice for assessing customers' present capabilities and future needs. The company plans to launch a new advertising campaign to introduce the on-demand concept to a wider audience.

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