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IBM Helps PartMiner Establish Electronic Commerce Free Trade Zone

Technology Innovation Leads to One-Stop Shop For On-line Procurement

SOMERS, N.Y - 12 Aug 1999: -- IBM today announced that it will help PartMiner Inc., an Internet commerce enabler, develop an Electronic Commerce Free Trade Zone for the business-to-business market.

The Electronic Commerce Free Trade Zone, an on-line marketplace, will help purchasing professionals to research, locate and purchase components from the suppliers of their choice. Users will be able to access inventories and datasheets, manage their bill of materials and process requests for quotations (RFQ) through the site.

The Free Trade Zone will be an e-commerce service using commerce capabilities developed by IBM Research. The Free Trade Zone will enable procurement using an XML-EDI-based RFPs process that will allow buyers to distribute requests, receive a list of consolidated responses and analyze bids. PartMiner is alterted to orders that cannot be filled by a buyer's preferred suppliers. A market maker unit, PartMiner Direct, will then step in to attempt to source the product from an alternate supplier. PartMiner Direct has access to the inventories of more than 8,000 manufacturers, distributors, representatives and agents around the world.

"Electronic commerce is catching on, but many existing online marketplaces try to force businesses to operate like consumers," said Mark Schenecker, chief technology officer, PartMiner. "Business procurement is based on relationships as well as price considerations. The Free Trade Zone we're developing with IBM will enhance buyers' relationships with their preferred suppliers."

"PartMiner's Free Trade Zone is the latest example of how the Internet is changing the way companies do business in all industries," said Neil Isford, vice president e-business services, IBM Global Services. "It is the culmination of what e-commerce should be: a virtual marketplace that helps suppliers and buyers efficiently engage in transactions based on current information."

This first Free Trade Zone, which will serve the electronic components industry, is targeted to open early next year.

IBM Global Services is the world's largest information technology services provider, with 1998 revenues of approximately $29 billion. Services is the fastest growing part of IBM, with more than 130,000 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 visit http://www.ibm.com/services.

PartMiner Inc. builds and hosts Electronic Commerce Free Trade Zones, including the Electronic Component Free Trade Zone, which promises to change the way a $200 billion industry operates. More than 200,000 buyers and engineers at electronic equipment manufacturers -- 15% of the buying market -- use software tools provided by PartMiner to support Web commerce. Headquartered in New York City, PartMiner maintains offices in seven countries worldwide.

PartMiner, PartMiner Direct and Electronic Commerce Free Trade Zone are all trademarks of PartMiner Inc. There is a patent pending on the Electronic Commerce Free Trade Zone.

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Contact(s) information

David Caplan
IBM Global Services
914-766-4529
caplan@us.ibm.com

Amy Morris
Creamer Dickson Basford for PartMiner
212/367-6815
amorris@cdbpr.com

Takako Yamakura
IBM Research
914-945-2334
yamakura@us.ibm.com

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