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Integration is Key to e-Business Profitability, IBM Tells Customers and Business Partners

"Islands" of Applications Won't Cut it in Next Generation e-Business

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Link_2001, LAS VEGAS, NV. - 19 Mar 2001: IBM's top sales executive told an audience of more than 1,000 customers and Business Partners that there is no 'silver bullet' when it comes to e-business -- that getting the right solution and making it all work together is complicated and hard, but the payoffs are enormous. Speaking at IBM's annual e-business solutions conference, link_2001, Bill Etherington, senior vice president and group executive, Sales and Distribution, said the only way to accomplish this is through individualized IT solutions that reflect the unique character of every business.

"Customers are yearning for individualized attention as they try to understand what e-business means for them," said Etherington. "Success depends on a company's ability to corral diverse applications into a seamless enterprise that simultaneously serves internal planning and operational needs along with those of customers and suppliers."

Building on this year's conference theme - - "Connecting Solutions to Markets to Profits" - - link_2001 brings an extended focus beyond supply chain management to examine every application and core business process transformed by the enabling technologies of the Internet and e-business. Held at the MGM Grand Hotel & Conference Center, March 18 - 21, link_2001 showcases the latest e-business integration and infrastructure solutions for growing companies.

Demonstrating this commitment, IBM and J.D. Edwards announced a strategic alliance, expanding their long-standing relationship, to jointly sell and market collaborative commerce solutions to medium-sized businesses -- those with 100 to 1,000 employees -- in the wholesale distribution and public sector industries. The goal of the IBM and J.D. Edwards global strategic alliance is to provide a complete, web-enabled, collaborative commerce solution, addressing enterprise resources infrastructure, customer relationship management (CRM), supply chain management (SCM), e-procurement, storefronts, knowledge management and marketplaces.

"We have moved beyond simple interaction and into the next phase of e-business," said Marc Lautenbach, general manager, IBM Global Midmarket Business. "No longer can a front-end solution exist without a back-end to support it. As the Internet fuels tremendous growth and opportunity, it is critical that new and improved solutions make e-business infrastructure come together, interoperate and link a company's suppliers and customers in a single continuum."

Other announcements at the conference included:

Included in this year's conference are more than 80 cross-industry and industry-specific educational sessions ranging from "Connecting Supply Chains to Profits" to "Emerging Technologies for B2B e-commerce." In a 60,000-square foot Solution Center, some 100 sponsors and exhibitors, including IBM Business Partners, independent software vendors and IBM product divisions, are showcasing the technology managing the next phase of e-business.

Featured speakers include: The Honorable John Majors, former Prime Minister of the United Kingdom; Chuck Martin, CEO of Net Future Institute; and Alan Webber, co-founder of Fast Company magazine.

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