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IBM Launches New Programs for Small and Growing Businesses


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WHITE PLAINS, N.Y. - 26 May 1998: -IBM today unveiled its new Supply Chain Management Initiative for Growing Businesses. The launch includes programs designed to help improve electronic supply chain management, which connects businesses with their suppliers, distributors, and customers.

``These initiatives are IBM's latest response to the exploding technology needs of growing companies,'' said Peter Rowley, general manager, IBM global small and medium business. ``Working with our business partners, our strategy is to provide these businesses with consulting and educational programs, as well as affordable information technology (IT) solutions that can help them improve customer service, enhance profitability, and expand new business opportunities.''

New Supply Chain Management Initiative

Supply chain management is a major element of IBM's e-business strategy and is vital for companies that want to compete in a global business environment. The new IBM Supply Chain Initiative for Growing Businesses is targeted to the manufacturing, wholesale and retail industries, and emphasizes new offerings and education about the importance of supply chain management. The initiative includes the following elements:

These initiatives are a response to a supply chain market on the verge of explosive growth. Industry analysts project that as businesses enter the new century, accelerated business cycles will encourage many companies, engaged in closed supply chain communities, to trade more openly. This would greatly enhance their ability to find suppliers with the best products at the best price, as well as the best delivery method. It would also enable suppliers that could create business advantage to participate in an electronic trading community. The result is a market expected to more than triple by 2000, according to analysts.

IBM also announced today the launch of the IBM Netfinity ServerProven Solutions program to independent software vendors (ISVs) in Europe, the Middle East, and Africa. The Netfinity ServerProven Solutions program gives software and hardware vendors the opportunity to test their applications and technologies with IBM Netfinity servers. The program also provides a wide selection of supply chain management solutions for small and growing businesses.

About IBM:

IBM is a world leader in providing business solutions for small and medium businesses. Through its Global Small and Medium Business organization, IBM offers a host of cross-industry and industry-specific solutions designed to meet the needs of growing businesses. IBM also is the leading provider of electronic business solutions and is dedicated to helping customers, IBM Business Partners and developers exploit the potential of network computing across a wide range of business and industries. For further information visit http://www.ibm.com/businesscenter.

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