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IBM Stakes Leadership Position in e-business for Growing Enterprises


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White Plains, NY - 28 Sep 1998: ... IBM is extending its leadership position in e-business into the small and growing business arena by providing a comprehensive range of e-business solutions and programs that will help growing businesses compete with larger enterprises.

With today's announcement, IBM is introducing broad new initiatives and strengthening its existing portfolio in the areas of e-business packaged services and supply chain management. A key highlight includes online activation of ServicePac®, IBM's packaged technical support for small and growing businesses. In the supply chain area, IBM is announcing new joint marketing activities and customer education and outreach programs targeted to help companies integrate their supply chain, which connects them with their suppliers, distributors, and customers. Enhanced supply chain management enables companies to increase speed to market, improve product availability, and reduce inventory.

"Today we are adding new initiatives and extending some elements of IBM's recently announced Supply Chain Management Initiative for Growing Businesses," notes Peter Rowley, general manager, IBM Global Small and Medium Business. "IBM's hardware, software and services capabilities, combined with the applications provided by our relationships with independent software vendors, and our new customer education and outreach programs, now gives IBM the ability to meet all of our customers' supply chain management needs," added Rowley.

New Joint Marketing Announcements

IBM and its Business Partners together have a unique ability to help customers in the wholesale, retail and manufacturing industries identify and integrate leading-edge global solutions across the supply chain. These solutions span a complete range from network-delivered applications to customized IBM servers available with preloaded, preconfigured software. New marketing activities announced today include the following:

Several solution developers key to IBM's initiatives have completed the testing of their software on IBM's Intel-based Netfinity servers which minimizes the integration risk for customers implementing supply chain solutions. These Netfinity "ServerProven" solutions are now being offered by (but not limited to): QAD, Symix, EMS, Lilly, J.D. Edwards, DataWorks, Fourth Shift, JDA, Synchronics, Infocorp, Computer Solutions Ltd., Retail Technologies International, Datafit, Inc., CFT Consulting, Inc., BHR Software, Micro-MRP, and Intuitive Manufacturing, Inc.

In addition IBM also announced today a wide range of independent software vendors that are integrating IBM software -- including DB2 Universal Database®, Lotus Domino, MQ Series® and Net.Commerce® -- into their supply chain management solutions. These software companies include Astera Software, BHR Software, BIS Computer Solutions, Commercialware, E-Com Systems, Fisher Technology Group, IMPAC, NetWARD, and Stirling Douglas Group.

Supply Chain Consulting Practice

To further support its supply chain initiatives, IBM has created a Supply Chain Management Consulting Services practice for growing enterprises. The practice, which will be rolled out initially in the U.S. and expand globally during the coming months, plans to focus on such processes as transportation and logistics, demand forecasting and planning, customer fulfillment, and sales force automation.

Customer Education and Outreach Programs

Supply chain integration is key to enhanced productivity and competitiveness for both large and small enterprises. Many large enterprises have achieved some level of supply chain integration due to their expertise in technology and logistics processes. However, smaller businesses do not have the same resources to devote to technology and process expertise, and therefore face a greater challenge in understanding and implementing supply chain integration. The following IBM customer education and outreach programs are designed to help meet this challenge:

e-Business Packaged Services

IBM also introduced a variety of new e-business packaged services designed to provide enterprises and IBM Business Partners with increased flexibility and availability. "IBM's ServicePac was among the first packaged technical support approaches to services," said Mark Shearer, general manager, Small and Medium Business Services, IBM Global Services. "IBM is leading again with the introduction of Internet-enabled packaged services, making it so much more convenient for customers."

IBM's new packaged services include:

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