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First Annual IBM Beacon Awards Salute Outstanding Business Partner Achievements

Ten IBM Business Partners Receive Top Honors from Panel of Industry Experts

Greatest Business Impact: - 23 Jan 2000: Web Emporium, LLC (http://www.webemporium.com), for transforming an underperforming e-commerce site into a sophisticated enterprise portal for international boating supplies distributor West Marine. The new portal increased Internet sales by 500% and caused customer complaints to plummet.

Rising Star:
Specialized Software International, Inc. (http://www.specializedsoftware.com), for its impressive results in breaking new ground for IBM e-business technology in the marketplace. Recently named to the national Fast 500 list and ranked Number 12 on the New England Technology Fast 50 list of fastest growing technology companies, Specialized Software tripled its number of IBM certifications across a broad range of IBM software and achieved ten times growth in IBM software and services over 1998.

Excellence in Partnering:
NetPerformance - US Technologies (http://www.ustechnol.com) + Butler and Curless Associates, Inc. (http://www.bcafreedom.com), for marrying Butler and Curless' track record as a top AS/400 reseller with NetPerformance's expertise in developing, deploying and integrating Lotus Domino** applications to produce a Domino-based Sales Force Automation (SFA) solution for AS/400*. Through its integration of legacy ERP data, the solution is helping customers such as scientific laboratory products distributor A. Daigger strengthen their business model and sharpen their competitive edge through company-wide access to critical information.

Best Leveraging Information for Competitive Advantage Solution:
Image Architects, Inc. (http://www.imagearch.com), for creating a solution that exemplifies how imaging technology can be deployed to help smooth the transition from a paper world to a digital one. By scanning payment checks from Fleet Credit Card's 11 million customers and merging that data with associated customer information into a single unified image, the Image Architect solution reduces the time required for Customer Service Representatives to deal with microfiched and paper records from days to seconds. The net result for Fleet is hard dollar savings and increased customer satisfaction.

Best Managing Technology Solution:
Lightyear Consulting (http://www.lightyr.com), for replacing an insurance company's cumbersome monthly mailing of quotation information on 20 diskettes with a Web-based system in a trusted e-business environment. The new solution differentiates the insurance company from its competitors in marketing to over 5,000 independent agents nationwide, and reduces the cost and time of delivering vital information to existing agents.

Best Transformation and Integration Solution:
Streamlink Pty Ltd (http://www.streamlink.com.au), for its innovative e-Procure solution, which streamlines a company's procurement process and lets it trade electronically with suppliers via the Internet. One e-Procure user reduced its spending on IT equipment alone by 7.5 per cent, amounting to a savings of $350,000 in the first year.

Distinguished Achievement Award - Asia Pacific:
Somerset Systems (http://www.somerset.com.au), for its ongoing commitment to IBM and Lotus software and services, demonstrated by its growing number of certifications across a range of IBM software, their strong pre-sales role for IBM products, and its close working relationship with the IBM MQSeries* lab. Recently acquired by IBM Business Partner Candle Corporation, Somerset is extending the availability of its Enterprise Application Integration (EAI) services from Australia to the rest of Asia Pacific.

Distinguished Achievement Award - Europe/Middle East/Africa:
ArTecnica S.r.l. (http://www.artecnica.com), for the growing role that IBM and Lotus software is playing in its success at offering end-to-end IBM solutions. ArTecnica's strong technical expertise, combined with its focus on IBM Net.Commerce*, is helping a range of leading customers pioneer the use of e-commerce.

Distinguished Achievement Award - Latin America:
Synopsis SAfor contributing to the growing reach of IBM software in the Latin American marketplace. As an IBM Solution Developer and services provider for the banking, government, manufacturing, commerce and distribution industries, the company has experienced significant business growth through its focus on IBM technologies. Synopsis has achieved among the highest number of IBM software certifications for Business Partners in Latin America, and is Peru's leading provider of IBM application development and database and transaction management courses.

Distinguished Achievement Award - North America:
USWeb/CKS (http://www.uswebcks.com),for quickly expanding its year-old Business Partner relationship to be international in scope and encompass a fast-growing list of successful customer engagements. The expanded relationship makes USWeb/CKS one of the largest Web Professional Services firms to work with IBM, delivering industry-leading "Time-To-Value" applications based on IBM software and hardware.For more details about the winning solutions and award finalists, please visit http://www.ibm.com/software/partnerweb. The IBM Beacon Awards are part of IBM PartnerWorld for Software. IBM PartnerWorld is a marketing and enablement program designed to create new revenue and marketing opportunities for IBM Business Partners, and provide customers with e-business solutions including products, services, technologies and marketing.

About IBM Software
IBM is the world's largest information technology company, with 80 years of leadership in helping businesses innovate. IBM Software offers the widest range of applications, middleware and operating systems for all types of computing platforms, allowing customers to take full advantage of the new era of e-business. The fastest way to get more information about IBM software is through the IBM Software home page at http://www.software.ibm.com.

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*Indicates trademark or registered trademark of International Business Machines Corporation.

**Lotus and Lotus Notes are registered trademarks and Domino and Notes are trademarks of Lotus Development Corporation.

++All other trademarks are the properties of their respective companies.

Contact(s) information

Tim Keeley
IBM
914-766-1728
tkeeley@us.ibm.com

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