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IBM Fires-Up e-Business Consulting Services For Small and Medium Businesses

Affordable, Customized, Easy-To-Use Online Services Drive Small and Medium Business Entry Into Electronic Marketplace

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SOMERS, NY - 21 Jul 1999: -- To help small and medium businesses realize the competitive advantages of adopting e-business solutions, IBM today announced the availability of e-business Accelerator, an affordable online consulting tool designed to help customers make timely, well-informed, critical business decisions about harnessing the Web for business advantage.

Delivered by IBM Global Services via the Internet, IBM e-business Accelerator provides reliable information, unbiased consulting advice and customized assessments. Early pilots of the offering provided customers information that helped to streamline operations, increase productivity and reduce total operational costs.

"I was looking for information and advice on how to become an e-business," said Paul Linares, a customer involved in the pilot program. "IBM's e-business Accelerator provided evaluation tools that gave automatic and prompt feedback on my company's readiness to become an e-business, as well as timely answers to specific questions that I posed to consultants."

The solution includes a comprehensive, scaleable set of services -- explore, investigate, engage, assess and plan packages -- that coincide with the different stages of e-business development. The packages include a complete range of customized services -- from assistance in exploring new e-business market opportunities to help in designing an e-business strategy.

Other key services include:

-- Up-to-date research on e-business trends, case studies and best-practices checklists

-- Customized analysis of a customer's e-business environment

-- Interactive online question-and-answer sessions

-- Phone consultations with an e-business advisor

"IBM e-business Accelerator provides small and midsize businesses with affordable consulting resources and capabilities from the global leader in e-business services," said Neil Isford, vice president, e-commerce, IBM Global Services. "Customers will have the information they need to use the Web as a creative weapon for taking on larger competitors and to level the playing field."

IBM e-business Accelerator is now available in the United States and Canada at http://www.ibm.com/services/accelerator. Prices range from $300 to $15,000, based on level of services, and can be purchased for an annual subscription fee, or on a project-by-project basis.

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.

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