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IBM AND HigherMarkets to Deliver Comprehensive E-Commerce Solution to Higher Education Market

E-procurement Linked to Back End Financials Can Streamline Process, Saving Time and Money

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Armonk, NY & San Francisco, CA - 23 Jan 2001: - IBM, the world's largest information technology company, and HigherMarkets, a leading provider of institutional e-commerce solutions, today announced that they have joined forces to deliver comprehensive, Internet-based e-procurement solutions and services to the higher education market.

Under a preferred provider agreement, IBM and HigherMarkets will work together to deliver a hosted, web-based e-commerce solution designed specifically for higher education. IBM will provide services to customers to activate HigherMarkets e-procurement applications and integrate them fully with the institution's current environment and back-end financial systems.

The HigherMarkets e-commerce solutions enable colleges and universities to leverage the power of the Internet to save both time and money when purchasing goods and services. HigherMarkets' hosted software, combined with IBM services, offers institutions the opportunity to streamline and integrate purchasing processes, thereby reducing the overall cost of requisitioning purchase orders, workflow approval, and bid/quote processes. HigherMarkets' end-to-end solutions, which include e-procurement, e-marketplace, and community applications, target the entire procurement cycle and are highlighted by ease of use, quick activation, and unique emphasis on supplier enablement.

"As a medium-sized, private institution, we need an e-procurement solution that can be scaled to meet our specific needs and function hand-in-hand with our existing financial system," said Paul Martin, Director of Procurement and Financial Services at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute. "We reviewed several other applications in surveyed the market and concluded that HigherMarkets' offering is best positioned to meet our requirements of providing a single procurement solution that integrates with our financial system. HigherMarkets' functionality is now a core part of RPI's e-commerce strategy to provide a single point to handle all of our purchasing needs."

"We are excited to be leveraging IBM's capabilities around the HigherMarkets solution to provide a critical service to our customers. We feel that HigherMarkets provides a robust, comprehensive e- procurement platform for higher education that we can quickly tailor to meet specific client needs," said Sean Rush, General Manager, IBM Global Education Industry. "IBM's depth of expertise in higher education, administrative systems, e-procurement, and e-business will enable colleges and universities to further streamline their business processes and save dollars better spent on educational or research programs. The benefits of e-procurement can be rapidly realized, even in those institutions with highly constrained IT resources, due to the hosted solution delivery model."

Under the new agreement, IBM's Global Services consultants will work with colleges and universities to integrate HigherMarkets' e-procurement applications with enterprise resource planning (ERP) and legacy systems, enabling them to leverage their current information technology infrastructures while greatly increasing their purchasing efficiencies. In addition, IBM will provide services in the areas of training and change management, process reengineering, systems integration, and other e-business initiatives.

"With its extensive knowledge of public sector financial and administrative ERP systems, IBM Global Services is the ideal IT and systems integration provider to implement HigherMarkets' solutions,"said Paul Salsgiver, President and CEO of HigherMarkets. "This new alliance creates an unmatched e-commerce offering, combining the most advanced institutional e-procurement applications with the industry, technology and e-business expertise of IBM. By leveraging the market-leading capabilities of HigherMarkets and IBM, our customers can take full advantage of the benefits of e-procurement by quickly and seamlessly integrating e-procurement technologies to their existing back-end systems."

ABOUT IBM

IBM is the world's largest information technology company, with 80 years of leadership in helping businesses innovate. Supported by an unparalleled track record of systems integration and implementation success, best practices, intellectual capital and over 140,000 skilled professionals in more than 160 countries, IBM Global Services provides unique value to the higher education industry. IBM Global Services offers a broad range of IT products and skills that institutions around the world have come to rely on. The competencies of IBM Global Services encompass change management, systems integration, enterprise resource planning (ERP), e-business initiatives and more - from concept to implementation. For more information, contact your IBM representative or Business Partner, or visit the IBM Web site at www.ibm.com/solutions/education.

ABOUT HIGHERMARKETS

HigherMarkets delivers a comprehensive e-commerce product, combining e-procurement and e-marketplace software with a vibrant Internet community for institutional purchasers. HigherMarkets solutions provide institutional customers with a streamlined purchasing process, the ability to enforce on-contract purchasing, one-time integration to existing ERP systems and access to aggregated purchasing with other institutions in the HigherMarkets' network. Based in San Francisco, California, HigherMarkets currently is implementing its e-commerce applications at leading colleges and universities across North America. For more, call (415) 561-6850 or visit the HigherMarkets Web site at www.highermarkets.com.

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