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IBM Announces New, Low-cost Network Delivered Application Service for Small and Medium Enterprises in Hong Kong


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Hong Kong - 27 Oct 1998: . . . IBM China/Hong Kong Limited today announced a new and affordable network delivered application service that provides small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs) with remote access to world-class business management applications. This announcement continues IBM's efforts in helping Hong Kong SMEs gain competitive advantage in the increasingly fierce local and global marketplace.

Called the Business Computing Utility* (BCU), this offering is a part of a family of Network Delivered Application Services from IBM and is the first comprehensive e-business service of its kind to be available in Greater China. Specially designed for SMEs, this service offers them the most advanced business application solutions and computing technology without the financial burden of investing in and managing their own in-house systems. From their own desktops, customers have remote access to applications installed on powerful processors in IBM data centers. These applications are professionally managed and supported by skilled BCU specialists.

"The IBM Business Computing Utility is an innovative solution to help Hong Kong's SMEs improve their efficiency and enhance their profitability, while giving them the flexibility to quickly adapt to the rapidly changing environment," said Tony Tai, general manager, IBM China/Hong Kong Limited. "Since the BCU requires no upfront capital investment, SMEs can invest their resources in building the core competencies of their business instead of in IT infrastructure and skills. We are glad to present this quick, straightforward and easy-to-use solution to SMEs in Hong Kong."

Customers only need to pay a low start-up installation charge and a monthly subscription fee depending on number of users for enjoying the BCU service. IBM will offer customers technical support in data migration and installation, as well as training in using the application modules, access to technical documentation, support from help desk and other types of services, as required.

Launching this unique service today, IBM is partnering with Systems Union, one of the world's leading providers of financial and business software. "We are proud to be a part of this partnership which will support the first commercial implementation of the BCU in the Hong Kong marketplace," said Ashley Clarke, Chief Operating Officer, Asia Pacific, Systems Union Limited. "The BCU will give customers access to a rich portfolio of Year 2000 and euro-ready business management applications, such as Ledger Accounting, Sales and Purchase Order Processing, Invoicing, Inventory Control, Multi-currency, Fixed Asset Register and Purchase Invoice Register."

Twino Company Ltd, a watch component trading firm, is one of the first BCU pilot customers. "To meet with the challenges of the 21st century, we found that BCU offers us the easiest and most cost-effective way to make our systems ready for the Year 2000. Without the burden of high IT maintenance overheads, we can be relieved from managing the computing systems and concentrating our company resources on business development," said Francis Ma, Managing Director, Twino Company Ltd.

The IBM BCU's support structure allows both functional growth and simultaneous handling of multiple application suites, not limited to business management functions. The BCU will ultimately bring additional value to its clients by enabling various networking functions via BCU services, such as Internet access and other e-business applications.

"The BCU service has already been deployed successfully in Central Europe and Latin America. In Hong Kong, the large base of SME sector within the economic infrastructure makes the upsurge of such integrated portfolio of IT solution compelling. The introduction of BCU reveals not only IBM's dedication to introduce e-business solutions to help SMEs, but also our commitment as a good corporate citizen to contribute to the overall economic well-beings," concluded Mr Tai.

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*The Business Computing Utility is a trademark of IBM Corporation in the United States and/or other countries.

Notes to Editors

About IBM

IBM is the world's largest information technology company and a leading provider of technology and solutions worldwide for the retail and distribution industry. It played a leading role in driving the first two computing "Waves". The first was mainframe computing. The second "Wave" marked the shift of power to the desktop through the development of the PC. IBM has fully embraced the "Third Wave" as an e-business company under the networked world, connecting people through their computers to colleagues, customers, suppliers, government departments, and a huge virtual world of information, services and entertainment. IBM opened for business in Hong Kong on April 16, 1957, and has been providing IT solutions to help Hong Kong's development since then. For more information about IBM Hong Kong, go to http://www.ibm.com/Services.

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