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IBM Unveils New e-business Portal Initiative to Help Companies Leverage Information Assets


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SOMERS, N.Y - 02 Nov 1999: . . . IBM today announced the IBM Enterprise Information Portal, the first step of a company-wide software strategy designed to help corporations leverage the vast and growing amount of information supporting today's e-business applications. The IBM Enterprise Information Portal will allow users to access, search, integrate and manage a wide variety of information sources.

The IBM Enterprise Information Portal, which will be generally available worldwide later this month, enables business partners and customers to quickly and easily build customized portal applications. By employing advanced data integration and search methodologies, companies will be able to perform extensive search queries across numerous data sources, including multimedia, electronic documents, Lotus Notes files and Web servers. With the IBM Enterprise Information Portal, companies can personalize data searches and utilize relevant information, allowing them to improve efficiency.

Additional highlights of today's announcement include:

-- New offerings from IBM Global Services, providing the expertise to help businesses develop and implement portal solutions.

-- The IBM Enterprise Information Portal business partner support program, providing customers with complete industry solutions and services.

-- Lotus support for the IBM Enterprise Information Portal with their recently announced knowledge management portal offering, code named Raven.

The IBM Enterprise Information Portal enables business users to make faster, more effective business decisions, enhance customer service capabilities and reduce operational expenses. For example, an insurance customer service representative can have access to customer policy information, correspondence, including voice and text messages, and information on current programs in one simple view. Or a marketing executive comparing worldwide campaign results could, with one search request, review the campaign rollout, advertising creative and messages, and view a summary report showing generated demand and revenues in each region.

"IBM's Enterprise Information Portal solution helps us serve our clients and improve information sharing. We expect to achieve 100 percent return on investment within two years," said Helen Tipton, Hewitt Associates, a global management consulting firm specializing in human resource solutions. "Technology is the cornerstone of our business, and by using IBM's solutions, we have enabled our clients to access, at any time, the latest information about their employees' enrollment in their benefit plans."

"Currently, there is more than one exabyte of online data in the world, equivalent to telephone books stacked to the moon and back again," said Janet Perna, general manager, IBM Data Management Solutions. "With the IBM Enterprise Information Portal, IBM is helping business partners and customers alike quickly implement customized portal solutions, leveraging their most critical information to work more efficiently."

Information Overload
Individuals and corporations today are swimming in a sea of information in many forms -- traditional business data, documents, e-mails, phone calls, faxes, and video. The volume of information that most companies must process today is expanding rapidly, and is doubling every 12 to18 months. In his book "Information Anxiety," author Richard Saul Wurman points out that more information has been produced in the last 30 years than during the previous 5,000.

"A comprehensive enterprise portal strategy requires the ability to deliver information stemming from numerous sources including collaboration, business intelligence, business applications, unstructured content and structured data," said David Yockelson, senior vice president and director, META Group. "These are key requirements in addressing customers needs for building a variety of solutions including intranet, business to business and business to consumer portal applications."

Business Partner Support
IBM is teaming with business partners to enable their solutions to access the IBM Enterprise Information Portal.
The IBM Enterprise Information Portal support for business partners is based on PartnerWorld, a marketing and enablement program designed to create new revenue and market opportunities for IBM's business partners and provide customers with e-business solutions including products, services, technologies and financing.

Today there are many business partners announcing their support for the IBM Enterprise Information Portal including, A³ Solutions, Brio Technology, Business Objects, Cognos, DataChannel, Hyperion, Epicentric Inc., IKON Office Solutions, Plumtree Software and Viador.

More information on IBM business partners supporting the IBM Enterprise Information Portal can be found at http://www.ibm.com/software/eip/partners.

Product Availability and Services
The IBM Enterprise Information Portal will be available worldwide beginning November 30.

IBM Global Services is announcing a series of offerings covering the full range of portal development, including strategic consulting. These offerings can be customized to help customers create many types of portals suitable for their business needs.

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