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Service Level Agreements Announced for IP Remote Access Dial to the IBM Global Network

IBM Sets Pace in Global Deployment of ITU V.90 Modem Standard

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SOMERS, NY - 21 Apr 1998: ... Responding to customer requirements for highly-reliable network dial connectivity to back their remote workers and telecommuters, IBM today announced industry-leading service level agreements for IP remote access to the IBM Global Network.

IBM also is setting the industry pace in the global deployment of the new International Telecommunications Union V.90 modem standard for speeds up to 56 Kbps. As of today, approximately 400 network points of presence have been upgraded and deployment is continuing rapidly.

In addition, IBM's Options Group announced V.90 support for its 56 Kbps modems. Customers desiring more information on these products and the V.90 free upgrade should visit http://www.ibm.com/pc/us/options/modems/56k.html

Other managed network services enhancements announced today include:

IP REMOTE ACCESS SERVICE LEVEL ENHANCEMENTS

With today's announcement, IBM is supporting the IP remote access component of IBM Managed Data Network Services with service levels that set high accessibility objectives, 95 percent, for successful connections to the IBM Global Network and provide monthly reports on performance. For an additional fee, customers may receive a report measuring their individual service levels for the month. Also offered is a gold plan service level agreement for customers who sign a three-year, $750,000 commitment for IP remote access charges. The gold plan offers additional reporting and reviews, as well as credits if objectives are not met (please see fact sheet at end for more details). Planned availability for the U.S. is July 1, 1998.

IBM is deploying recently-introduced AccessRamp technology from Inverse Network Technology to help measure IBM Managed Data Network Services remote access reliability from the customer perspective. AccessRamp is the industry's first Internet diagnostic system to provide real-time data on the "access experience," according to Inverse.

Kitty Weldon, a senior analyst with Boston-based The Yankee Group, in commenting on today's announcement, noted that a number of service providers, including IBM, offer service levels for dedicated network connections, "but it has been extremely difficult to get providers to provide them for dial-up remote access traffic.

"IBM is providing a high level of customer choice as well as a unique set of remote access service levels that go beyond those of competitive offerings," she said. "The Yankee Group hopes this will set a precedent in the industry -- to meet customer requirements for remote access services and granular reporting options."

OTHER REMOTE ACCESS ENHANCEMENTS

IBM CORPORATE MESSAGING SERVICES

Previously available in Europe, IBM Corporate Messaging Services is now being offered in the U.S. It provides a custom designed messaging service to large enterprise customers who want to significantly reduce their future investment in, management of and monitoring of their messaging infrastructure so they can focus on their core business.

IBM provides hardware, software and network facilities to connect disparate corporate messaging systems ranging from popular PC and client/server mail systems to midrange and mainframe mail systems for intra-enterprise communication. Access to the Internet and valued-added messaging systems are provided through generally available IBM services, such as IBM Universal Messaging Services and the firewall feature of IBM Managed Data Network Services.

With this service, users on disparate supported messaging systems can communicate transparently within the enterprise. Directories are merged into one corporate-wide directory which is then kept current using directory synchronization processes. This benefits users because they are only required to update one directory. All others will be automatically updated.

Other customer benefits may include full infrastructure management, predictable monthly pricing, security and ease of use which allows the sending and receiving of messages with already familiar messaging systems.

Each IBM Corporate Messaging Services solution will be individually designed, scheduled and priced based upon customer requirements.

IBM WORKGROUP SERVICES VERSION 2.1

The new version of IBM Workgroup Services provides support for Lotus Domino/Notes Release 4.6, as well as improved messaging, application hosting and operations.

IBM Workgroup Services combines the strengths of Lotus Domino/Notes with the IBM Global Network to provide a security-rich e-business hosting environment for intranets, extranets and the Internet.

With today's announcement, IBM Workgroup Services offers Lotus Domino/Notes Release 4.6 to provide a more powerful collaboration and application environment. Messaging choices have been expanded and, when combined with IBM Universal Messaging Services, customers can communicate with virtually any type of messaging system.

In addition, powerful tools improve application development productivity and a wide variety of applications can be hosted. Cross-domain directories aid collaboration, while enhanced data collection and reporting improve administration.

OTHER MANAGED NETWORK SERVICE ENHANCEMENTS

IBM Global Services, with headquarters in Somers, NY, provides information technology solutions that enable enterprises to lead in their marketplaces. With 1997 revenue of approximately $26 billion and 110,000 professionals in 164 countries, IBM Global Services is the world's largest and most versatile services provider. Its capabilities span business transformation consulting, strategic outsourcing, systems integration, product support services, education and training, and managed network services over the IBM Global Network that serves 33,000 customer enterprises in 100 countries. For more information, please see http://www.ibm.com/services or call (800) 455-5056.

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IP REMOTE ACCESS SLA FACT SHEET

The service level agreements measure successful connections to the IBM Global Network from a customer workstation when using IP remote access and an appropriate IBM licensed IP dialer. The IP remote access network connectivity objective is 95 percent.

STANDARD PLAN:

STANDARD PLUS OPTION PLAN:

peak hours and off-peak hours for the following:

-- percent of busies
-- ring no answers
-- modem problems
-- login failures

GOLD PLAN:

-- Ongoing proactive management
-- Corrective actions
-- Monthly review of the customer's specific data

Gold Plan credits are progressive if objectives are not met over a time and range from 5 percent for the first month up to 100 percent if objectives are not met for five consecutive months. Credits are automatically applied to a customer's invoice.


* Limited by law in the United States to 53.3 Kbps.

** IBM considers a service Year 2000 ready if that service, when used in accordance with its associated documentation, is capable of correctly processing, providing and/or receiving data within and between the 20th and 21st centuries, provided all other hardware, software and services used with the service properly exchange accurate date data with it. With this announcement, IBM is not stating or representing that IBM File Transfer Services is Year 2000 Ready at this time.

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