IBM Japan already has a joint venture on intelligent buildings, and now IBM France has followed suit, teaming up with construction group Bouygues SA to form a joint venture company with the typically French name of IB2 Technologies SA. IB2, capitalised at $50,000, will be equally-owned. IBM reckons that office space in France is expanding at a rate of about 18m square feet a year, and 6% to 7% of the buildings are fertile ground for implementing the wired services concept. IB2 will also pitch to wire hotels, hospitals, universities, department stores and amusement parks – it has its eye on EuroDisneyland being constructed in Marne-la-Valle. IB2 will start out with 15 to 20 engineers, and looks for turnover in the millions of dollars. The new Bouygues headquarters in St Quentin-en-Yvelines is one of the first to implement IBM’s Token Ring local area network comprehensively.
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