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IBM's Platforms Selected for Digitization of Bank Sohar

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International Business Machines Corporation (IBM - Free Report) announced today that its IBM Cloud and IBM MobileFirst platforms have been selected by Bank Sohar, one of Oman’s leading financial institutions, to expedite its digital transformation.

Both these technologies will enable the bank to provide enhanced customer experience, improve its capabilities on the client services front and boost its overall information technology infrastructure.

As mobile banking continues to gain traction in Oman, Bank Sohar intends to upgrade its IT infrastructure through the inclusion of a flexible development platform that supports all of its mobile applications in one place. IBM’s MobileFirst platform was a logical choice for the bank. Additionally, the MobileFirst platform would run on IBM Cloud, enabling further streamlining of its IT environment.

Other Emerging Technologies

Businesses throughout the world are gradually making the shift to digitization in a bid to remain competitive, agile and drive growth. Apart from mobile banking, an emerging technology called blockchain, which enables faster, cheaper and safer transactions, is gaining traction within the banking space.

We note that recently IBM and China UnionPay completed a pilot project on sharing loyalty bonus points between banks through the use of the IBM Blockchain.

Also, Microsoft Corporation (MSFT - Free Report) and Bank of America Corporation’s (BAC - Free Report) corporate and investment banking division, Bank of America Merrill Lynch teamed up recently to implement the blockchain technology in trade finance.

Barclays is another company that has successfully tested blockchain technology in partnership with an Israel-based startup recently.

Given IBM’s competitive edge in introducing new technologies from time to time, we expect the company to record growth in the long term.

Zacks Rank & Key Picks

At present, IBM carries a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold).

A better-ranked stock in the broader technology space is Avid Technology, Inc. (AVID - Free Report) , sporting a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy). You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank stocks here.

We note that the estimates for Avid for 2016 and 2017 have remained steady at $2.08 and $1.60, respectively over the last 7 days.

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