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First IBM Personal Computers Shipped With "Plug-In" Microprocessor and Memory Components

IBM IntelliStation PCs First to Receive Components On-Site Through IBM Authorized Assembler Program

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SOMERS, N.Y. - 21 Jul 1998: - IBM today announced that authorized resellers have shipped IBM's first PCs built with ``plug-in'' microprocessors and memory components, reaching a new level of efficiency in the company's Authorized Assembler Program and increasing IBM's ability to offer customers aggressive prices on personal systems.

IBM Business Partners Inacom and CompuCom are now installing custom microprocessor and memory components into IBM IntelliStation PCs at their respective AAP locations. The initiative will expand across all IBM personal systems --including other commercial desktop products, Netfinity servers and ThinkPad notebook computers -- in the months ahead.

The first IBM customers to receive these customized products include American Airlines and Chase Manhattan Bank.

IBM Business Partners Pinacor and Ingram have also elected to participate in the program and will begin shipping products in August. Microprocessor/memory plug-in is part of IBM's Advanced Fulfillment Initiative (AFI), a broad set of steps aimed at increasing supply chain efficiencies and delivering more competitive prices to customers.

``Flexibility is basic requirement for both resellers and end-users in the fast-paced PC industry,'' said David Thomas, senior vice president and group executive for IBM's Personal Systems Group. ``This AFI expansion delivers ultimate manufacturing flexibility while increasing efficiency, reducing assembly costs and improving time-to-market.''

``Inacom clients will benefit immediately from our leadership role in the IBM Authorized Assembler program,'' said Mike Steffan, president of operations for Inacom. ``Now, our clients are assured rapid access to the latest technology while meeting their standards requirements -- all at a lower cost.''

Expands AAP Flexibility

Microprocessor and memory plug-in extends IBM's base AAP process under which open bay systems have been shipped to certified Business Partners without preloaded operating systems, hard files, CD-ROM drives, extensive memory and other predetermined parts. For the first time, certified partners will receive the incomplete product (wide open bays) without processor or memory components pre-installed on the electronic planar board assembly. Now, Business Partners can select processor speeds and memory amounts at the time an order is received, instantly ``swapping out'' these key components to meet demand.

Advanced Fulfillment Initiative

Announced in September 1997, the IBM Advanced Fulfillment Initiative is a broad set of steps aimed at streamlining how IBM Personal Systems products are designed, manufactured and distributed to reduce costs, deliver more competitive prices and simplify the buying experience for IBM products. Built around channel assembly -- which IBM pioneered more than two years ago to enable IBM resellers to custom-configure IBM personal systems products to customer specifications -- AFI continues to deliver more competitive prices for all IBM Personal Systems products.

IBM IntelliStation

The IBM IntelliStation family offers superior application performance, industry-leading manageability and competitive NT workstation pricing. The IntelliStation line comes standard with an array of manageability features designed to keep workstations up and running. IBM's Wake on Lan,(a) Alert on LAN(a) and LanClient Control Manager(a) (LCCM(a)) allow for remote system administration. Newer technologies include Asset ID(a) (1), designed to help customers deploy and keep track of their inventories, and SMART Reaction(a) software which can be set up to automatically back up mission critical data in the event of a hard drive failure. IBM's aggressive pricing for the IntelliStation line is a result of increased efficiencies achieved with its Advanced Fulfillment Initiative (AFI), designed to streamline operations and reduce costs. With the IntelliStation M Pro and E Pro, IBM offers the most complete NT workstation family available today. For more information on the IBM IntelliStation visit
http://www.pc.ibm.com/us/intellistation.

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(a) Trademark or registered trademark of International Business Machines Corp.

Inacom Corp. (NYSE: ICO - news) is a Fortune 500 technology management services company. Inacom provides integrated life cycle services to clients worldwide. Visit Inacom at www.inacom.com.

(1) Asset ID allows a computer to be ``scanned'' be various radio frequencies emitting devices which must be purchased separately from independent companies.

Contact(s) information

Tim O'Malley
IBM
917-766-3824
tomalley@us.ibm.com