IBM celebrates 100 years - KTTC Rochester, Austin, Mason City News, Weather and Sports

IBM celebrates 100 years

Rochester, Minn. (KTTC) --

This is a big year for IBM. The company is marking its 100th year as a business. And with 100 years comes a big party with a lot of big names.

When you're one of the state's largest employers, you'll definitely get a lot of attention. Governor Mark Dayton was on hand for the celebration today, as well as both Al Franken and Amy Klobuchar. But still the biggest attraction of the morning was a video showcasing IBM's unique history.

"We announced the IBM supermarket system on October 11th, 1973. By 1968, IBM's 10-year partnership with an early space program is converging on their ultimate mission. We announced the IBM supermarket system on October 11th, 1973."

History flashing before their eyes, hundreds of community members and IBM employees celebrated the company's 100th anniversary, quite a feat for a business in an ever-evolving industry.

"We've seen over the years a lot of our competitors come and go, and we're still here. And the reason we're here is because we continue to innovate, we continue to understand the kinds of problems our clients have, that governments have, and we put our technology and know-how to use to try and solve those problems," explains IBM's senior Minnesota Executive Walt Ling.

IBM has helped put man on the moon, and it's technology has made shopping easier.

From the space program to grocery scanners, IBM has come a long way. But 50 years after coming to Rochester, it became known for the fastest computer in the world. The Blue Gene System put IBM on the map, and just this year, the company is doing the world one better with faster, upgraded version of Mira.

"I think the way we get out of this economic rut is innovation, innovation at Mayo Clinic, innovation at IBM, and we have keep thinking again, and making stuff, and exporting to the world," says U.S. Senator Amy Klobuchar.

And IBM plans on doing just that for the next 100 years.

"It really opens the panorama of new opportunities for us, new problems that no one would have ever thought of attacking, that we now have the capability to attack and solve," explains Ling.

A centennial celebration that big blue hopes will not be, it's last.

While the Rochester branch of IBM celebrated the centennial Thursday, the actual anniversary date is June 16th.

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