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Harrah's Entertainment Ups the Ante on Customer Relationship Managment with new web site Designed and Powered by IBM


LAS VEGAS, NV - 19 Oct 2000: -- IBM is playing a key role in the design, implementation and launch of Harrah's Entertainment, Inc.'s new interactive Web site, it was announced today. The new site, (www.harrahs.com), provides an innovative mix of information, entertainment and transactional capabilities across all of Harrah's properties. Harrah's operates 21 casinos in 17 markets under the Harrah's, Rio, Showboat and Players brand names.

As the technology provider and designer of the newly launched Harrah's Entertainment Web site, IBM worked closely with Harrah's and its technology partners to design a site that enables customers to update their Harrah's Total Rewards accounts, obtain in-depth information on all Harrah's properties, and access in Harrah's play-for-fun virtual online casino. Additional features coming soon will allow customers to check their Total Rewards offers, edit their profiles and reserve hotel rooms online.

"The full scope of this new site will leave traditional information-only web sites in the 'digital dust'," said David Norton, vice president of Loyalty Marketing for Harrah's Entertainment. "For example, the Total Rewards self-service component will allow our Total Rewards members to not only check their earned reward credits and the value they represent at each property, but also see their existing offers, automatically reserve hotel offers online, change their profile information and indicate new preferences with just a few clicks."

"With Harrah's numerous properties and patented tiered customer-loyalty program, designing a simple, intuitive and interactive online experience that conceals the complexities of the underlying Web applications was a challenge for us," said Jeannie Ericson, project manager, IBM Global Services. "With the new design, visitors with a specific purpose will be able to accomplish their task simply and expeditiously, and those who just want to browse can quickly learn the benefits of a Total Rewards membership, get in-depth information on all the properties or learn to play some casino games."

The new site incorporates a global navigation design that places visitors no further than one click away from any major section of the site. Barely a month old, the site is already winning awards. Card Marketing, a leading industry magazine that covers marketing activities for smart card and loyalty card programs, recently awarded Harrah's new site the "Best Loyalty Web Site in the Industry."

In addition to its innovative architecture and design, IBM also employed extensive e-business Content Management capabilities while building the site. When building a Web site, there is often a trade-off between launching it quickly, but having to make time-consuming manual content changes once the site is live, and launching it on a slower schedule that includes building in ways to keep content fresh once it is live. However, using Interwoven's TeamSite content management software and IBM's e-business Content Management expertise, Harrah's was able to accomplish the best of both options. The site was designed with the capability to continuously update with fresh, pertinent content for harrahs.com visitors.

The harrahs.com site is powered by an IBM RS/6000 SP supercomputer, a highly-reliable, scalable Unix-based system that can be readily expanded to meet Harrah's future business needs. The site also utilizes IBM's WebSphere software and IBM Apache HTTP application servers that provide a flexible structure to complement the RS/6000 SP's power and scalability.

About Harrah's
Founded more than 60 years ago, Harrah's Entertainment, Inc. is one of the most recognized and respected names in the casino entertainment industry. The company focuses on providing great customer service in exciting and entertaining environments. Harrah's is committed to concentrating on building loyalty and value for its customers, shareholders, employees, business-partners, and communities by being the most service-orientated, technology driven, and geographically-diversified company in gaming.

About IBM
IBM Travel and Transportation group provides products, services and integrated solutions to all areas of the travel-related service industry including gaming, hotels, cruise lines, travel agents and tour operators. More information can be found at www.ibm.com/industries/travel.

IBM Global Services is the world's largest information technology services provider, with 1999 revenues of more than $32 billion and more than 140,000 professionals serving customers in 160 countries. IBM Global Services integrates IBM's broad range of capabilities -- services, hardware, software and research -- to help companies of all sizes realize the full value of information technology. For more information on IBM, visit www.ibm.com

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Contact(s) information

Linda Hanson
IBM
914-642-5447
hansonmu@us.ibm.com

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