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IBM Accelerates Portal-Based Learning and Business Process Management


ARMONK, NY - 30 Nov 2007: IBM (NYSE: IBM) today announced an expansion of its WebSphere Portal software portfolio with the availability of two additional business-ready packages -- called accelerators -- that can be easily added to a customer's portal to drive online training projects and automate key business processes.

These two new accelerators provide training, development and education projects through an IBM Lotus Sametime Web conference -- and also make it easier for customers to automate core business processes with easy entry and integration of data and electronic forms across numerous systems.

The two accelerators add to the collection that IBM has released incrementally since April. These include: IBM Self-Service Accelerator for human resources tasks, IBM Dashboard Accelerator, IBM Collaboration Accelerator for team collaboration, IBM Content Accelerator for building and managing websites, and IBM Enterprise Suite Accelerator which supports multiple portal projects, including Web content management and electronic forms.

"IBM continues to see significant momentum from accelerators as customers are showing ever-growing interest in using accelerators to help speed the time to value for portal-based business solutions. With these two new accelerators, customers have a full range of choice to implement projects quickly and cost-effectively, adding value to their portal investments," said Larry Bowden, Vice President of Portals and Interaction Services."

IBM Learning Accelerator enables customers to provide personalized online training within the context of employees' ongoing activities. Highlights include:

IBM Learning Accelerator is also integrated with IBM Lotus Quickr and Lotus Sametime Web Conferencing, providing the ability to deliver long-distance training, share multiple content types, and collaborate on documents from a central, shared repository without tying up email resources. Integration with Lotus Sametime Web Conferencing gives the learning admin the ability to schedule and drive enrollment of training web conferences from within the learning accelerator. The addition of Lotus Quickr capabilities in this software provides students and instructors a place to collaborate on learning topics to enhance the overall learning experience

IBM Business Process Accelerator is designed to simplify and improve the adoption of business processes by using the role-based, personalized user interface of WebSphere Portal to improve both implementation and end user response time for the entire range of processes, i.e.: document centric, human centric and system centric processes. Users can more efficiently complete workflow tasks when they have role-based, personalized access through a portal to all the information, applications and data necessary to complete their assigned task.

This accelerator helps integrate siloed applications and processes through out-of-the-box integration. The IBM Business Process Accelerator consists of market-leading IBM WebSphere Portal Server and IBM Lotus Forms Server. Users can easily view and act on workflow tasks assigned to them in IBM WebSphere Portal through the My Tasks portlet. The IBM Lotus Forms Server enables pixel-perfect rendering of electronic forms in the portal user interface. Then, eForms, portlets and workflows can be quickly customized and easily integrated with back end systems.

This offering enhances and complements the other offerings from IBM, such as WebSphere Business Modeler, IBM FileNet Business Process Manager and WebSphere Process Server. What's more, IBM Business Process Accelerator enables electronic forms and workflows to run in personalized business mashups that provide an aggregated view of information and tasks based upon the user's role and stage of the workflow.

Customers across numerous industries including government, banking and insurance can benefit from this new accelerator package which streamlines integration of data with WebSphere Portal and other existing back end systems from IBM as well as with independent software vendors such as SAP and Siebel. By automating core business processes with electronic forms run in personalized business mashups, customers can help improve response times by rapidly building and deploying customer and partner facing workflows in WebSphere Portal.

Cardiff University in the UK plans to use key components of IBM Business Process Accelerator: Lotus Forms, WebSphere Portal and WebSphere Process Server as a part of an overall plan to create a collaborative environment for students, researchers, staff and partner organizations.

With IBM's help, the University's Information Services Directorate is creating a personalized environment whereby through a single sign-on an individual has access to all the resources they need to perform their role. For example, a student will have access to personalized areas such as files, timetables, bookmarks, school notices, Cardiff email, Forums, study-groups and discussions, school software, and course fee payments.

"We will use a combination of WebSphere Portal, WebSphere Process Server and Lotus Forms software to help streamline our business processes with electronic forms and role-based portal applications. This implementation will enable us to move towards streamlined administrative processes, either directly or through pre-reqs, we can now model, orchestrate, deploy and participate in the business processes. We have the flexibility of choice to plug-in process engines from WebSphere, FileNet or third parties to run these processes," said Simon Bradford of Cardiff University.

Cost and availability

Customers can purchase individual accelerators and snap them onto their existing WebSphere Portal environment, or they can purchase the entire solution together with WebSphere Portal.

Learning Accelerator is available now for $36 per user.

The IBM Business Process Accelerator consists of IBM WebSphere Portal Server and IBM Lotus Forms Server. Those products are available now at $515 per value unit and $400 per value unit, respectively.

*IBM, Lotus, Quickr, Sametime and WebSphere are trademarks of IBM Corporation in the United States, other countries, or both. All other company product or service names may be trademarks or service marks of others.

Contact(s) information

Jennifer C. Clemente
IBM Software Group
415 545 3230
jennic@us.ibm.com

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