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IBM and 3Com to Deliver "All-In-One" IP Telephony Suite for Small and Mid-Size Businesses

To Further Simplify Business Operations and Take Advantage of Cost Savings and Advanced Features Associated With IP Telephony, IBM Clients Will Be Able to Run 3Com's IP Telephony Suite on the System i Platform

ARMONK, NY & MARLBOROUGH, MA - 30 Mar 2006: IBM and 3Com Corporation, a leading provider of secure, converged voice and data networking solutions, today announced plans to offer the 3Com VCX™ suite of IP telephony solutions on IBM's "all-in-one" System i business computing solution.

Through this agreement, IBM and 3Com will enable small to mid-sized clients to integrate IP telephony capabilities with the System i, which comes pre-integrated with hardware, database software, storage and security. To simplify the convergence, IBM and 3Com intend to deliver the first IP telephony suite that can run in a single Linux on POWER partition on the System i. This means clients will be able to run business and telephony applications simultaneously, managed by the System i's familiar system management tools.

The System i IP Telephony Suite is designed to help clients take advantage of IP telephony features and cost savings versus traditional telephony systems while delivering the same level of reliability that they expect from their business computing on System i.

"The availability of the 3Com solutions on the System i platform will give our broad base of clients a powerful option to run a complete IP telephony solution without adding new boxes to their environment," said Mark Shearer, general manager, IBM System i. "This is a milestone in further simplifying the avalanche of data that small and mid-sized clients face and enabling innovation in their businesses. We think this offering will provide our community with yet another reason to be passionate about the System i."

Focusing on the mid-market of 100 to 2,000 users, 3Com delivers a completely native, standards-based IP telephony and application solution using SIP (Session Initiation Protocol). By using SIP and other open standards, 3Com IP telephony offerings will be more easily integrated with other applications on the System i to extend their functionality with telephony features and applications, including unified messaging, large scale audio conferencing, video conferencing, presence, contact centers and enterprise mobility that reduce cost, increase productivity and enhance customer interaction. 3Com's VCX solution delivers robust dependability and scalability that carries billions of minutes of IP Telephony traffic with carrier-class availability.

IBM chose 3Com as its IP telephony partner for System i based on the two companies' common values of integration, ease-of-use, security, and support for open standards.

"By collaborating with IBM, we have an enormous opportunity to enable System i clients and enterprises worldwide to take advantage of the benefits that IP telephony has to offer through our VCX suite and applications," said R. Scott Murray, president and chief executive officer, 3Com. "Integrating VCX with the System i5 creates a converged environment that reduces costs while giving enterprises a competitive edge. IBM's selection of 3Com and the VCX platform is a proof point for the product's flexibility and reliability. It is also tremendous validation for our open standards-based approach versus proprietary systems."

IBM anticipates that its community of System i business partners and Independent Software Vendors (ISV) will exploit this IP telephony functionality to deliver new innovations in collaboration and key business processing applications such as customer relationship management applications that run on the System i platform.

"IP telephony is a solution area that is becoming more and more important to our customers," said Andy Gorelik, COO, Strategic Computer Solutions, Inc., an IBM Premier Business Partner. "We think offering 3Com's IP telephony solution on System i offers a new level of IP telephony simplicity, and will drive new innovation and demand for the System i platform."

Availability

The first software products for integration onto System i are expected to be available by third quarter 2006.

About the IBM System i™

The IBM System i is a tightly integrated business system including hardware, middleware, storage and security. The "all-in-one" System i platform embraces open standards and can run i5/OS, Windows(1), Linux and AIX 5L operating environments simultaneously so clients can simplify their IT environment and reinvest those savings in business innovation. Business partners and solutions providers of all sizes drive System i5 success by building, selling and deploying more than 7,000 of the world's most popular business applications for their clients on the System i family.

Contact(s) information

Joanna Brewer
IBM Media Relations
(415) 545-2270
jmbrewer@us.ibm.com

Joseph Vukson
3Com Corporation
(508) 323-1228
joseph_vukson@3com.com

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1 The System i5 platform can run Microsoft Windows via an integrated Intel-