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IBM Announces European expansion of Web Integrator Initiative

IBM Extends Support to the Fast-growing Internet Professional Services Firms Building Europe's E-businesses -- Industry Expected to Generate $25 Billion in Europe by 2003

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& #9;WHITE PLAINS, NY - 19 Sep 2000: -- IBM (NYSE:IBM) announced today that it will aggressively expand the company's Web Integrator Initiative to Europe's major Web Consulting firms by year-end. With plans to invest up to $65 million over the next 18 months, the expansion is part of IBM's new global strategy to generate significant revenue through relationships with Internet developer and consultant firms, including Web integrators -- also known as interactive agencies, systems integrators and Web design firms.

IBM's move to expand the Web Integrator Initiative is based on Europe's explosive growth in e-business services, which, according to International Data Corporation (IDC), is estimated to generate $25 billion by 2003 -- representing a compound annual growth rate of 55% from 1999.

The company plans to invest in sales and technical staff, training, technology, support and co-marketing before the end of the year to help Web integrators provide Internet professional services to the fast-growing European e-business market. IBM plans to work with U.S.-based firms that have opened or acquired offices throughout Europe, including marchFIRST, AGENCY.COM and Organic, as well as support firms that started in Europe, including the Brussels-based ICON Medialab and London-based Nettec.

"As Europe's traditional brick and mortar companies e-volve their businesses for the Internet economy, IBM is empowering its Web integrators to build mission critical and scalable e-business solutions on IBM platforms," said Mark Hanny, vice president of the IBM Web Integrator Initiative. "By providing virtually limitless access to the company's unmatched resources, IBM is poised to enable these influential companies to take advantage of the second e-commerce wave currently breaking in Europe."

As part of the expansion, IBM will invest in establishing a field sales force and technical support team in more than 20 European countries; technology development labs with major partners, including the creation of the first U.K.-based Linux solutions lab with AGENCY.COM this Fall, and open access to IBM research labs pre-existing in Hursley, England and Boblingen, Germany, providing Web Integrators with technology resources even before IBM brings them to market, including wireless software products, such as WebSphere Everyplace Suite and MQ Everywhere. Additionally, IBM will provide Web Integrator partners with unique co-marketing and business development opportunities

According to Janet Waxman of IDC, "The Web Integrators are emerging as key influencers and a major market force, becoming an increasingly important part of any supplier's channel coverage model. With the advent of the global economy, it is essential that suppliers
create partnerships that can address the customer's growing need for global solutions. IDC believes that IBM should be commended for their efforts in expanding its Web Integration program and relationships on an International basis."

ABOUT IBM

IBM is the world's leading e-business company offering a wide range of services, solutions and technologies that help businesses take full advantage of emerging innovations in e-business. The IBM Web Integrator Initiative helps Internet professional services firms develop mission critical, scalable e-business solutions for their clients through access to IBM hardware, software, services, technical training, certification and support. For more information on the IBM Web Integrator Initiative visit: www.ibm.com/software/webintegrators.

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