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IBM Previews New Software Suites To Business Partners

Integration of IBM and Lotus technologies will make software easier to buy, sell, install and deploy

SAN FRANCISCO, - 17 Feb 1998: ... IBM, a leading supplier of hardware, software and services for Windows NT**, today unveiled plans to offer software suites that will open up hot markets and opportunities for business partners.

The new suites are part of a broad initiative to further tighten integration among products from IBM and Lotus Development Corp., and collaborate with value-added distributors and resellers, systems integrators and software vendors in pursuing fast-growing markets, such as small business and e-business.

IBM previewed the integrated suites to more than 3,000 IBM and Lotus business partners attending the Business Partners Executive Conference (BPEC) '98, to jump start the development of new services and applications. The offerings will include a small business suite, departmental suite, and enterprise suite, designed to make it fast, easy and profitable for solution providers to deliver IBM "e-business" solutions for Windows NT across diverse industries and markets.

"Reliability, security, and scalability have been our hallmarks," said Dick Sullivan, vice president, NT Solutions Marketing, IBM Software Solutions Division. "These suites add a new dimension. Everything about them is easy -- from buying and selling to using. Even technical support is a one-stop shopping experience."

Amy Wohl, president, Amy Wohl Associates, a leading analyst firm, added, "IBM's entrance into the Windows NT suite market will help businesses of any size -- small to enterprise -- relax. IBM means secure and reliable systems software, available for many different operating systems. I expect IBM to deliver and support much needed enterprise-proven software solutions to the Windows NT market."

Business partners can use IBM's value-packed suites to create, deliver and support Windows NT applications, ranging from e-mail and messaging to transaction processing and enterprise resource planning. With these solutions, businesses of all sizes that have selected Windows NT as an operating system can begin to exploit Internet technologies to connect their customers, employees, suppliers and vendors. IBM also announced that these suites and levels of integration will be made available on platforms such as OS/2* and AIX*.

"These are the kind of tools that business partners can bank on," said Ian Bonner, vice president, Lotus and IBM worldwide partner marketing and programs, IBM. "The suites will create a tremendous opportunity for developers and channel partners to add services and capabilities for specific customer and industry needs. We're making them easy to buy and, with the full complement of technical, sales and marketing support that we're offering, they'll also be easy to sell."

Solution providers can draw on IBM's broad and diverse resources for technical support for both the suites and the Windows NT operating system. Simple to install, configure and use, the new suites will enable solution providers to rapidly build and deploy Windows NT applications, on time and within budget. The components within the suites are based on open, industry standards and can run on leading operating systems, from desktop PC systems up to large mainframes.

Laurent Sadoun, president of Logix, a leading value-added distributor (VAD) of hardware and software solutions in France, said, "As a VAD, we have to offer our business partners more completepre-sales and post-sales support in order to help them integrate their hardware and software technologies. It's clear that IBM understands partnering when it offers just one phone number for technical support that provides answers not only for its suites, but for the Windows NT platform, too. This kind of support will give our resellers real peace of mind when it comes to pursuing the tremendous service opportunities for installing, customizing and supporting the suites."

Companies will be able to start slowly, selecting functions from within a suite to fit their business needs, or leverage the power of a full suite to run line-of-business applications. Suites can be upgraded as businesses grow and needs change.

The small business suite will be a fully integrated software server for developing solutions for the booming small-business marketplace. The suite will include a full range of functions to help small companies adopt technology to improve their competitiveness.

Using the small business suite as a development platform, value-added resellers, software vendors and other solution providers can offer their small-business customers affordable intranet and Internet capabilities. Among them are information sharing, e-mail and calendaring, fax capabilities, a powerful, yet easy-to-use data management system, and popular line-of-business applications, such as product catalog and customer care.

The departmental suite will enable mid-sized businesses and autonomous departments within large companies to deploy, manage and change their applications quickly and easily. This new suite offers groupware, communications, and data, systems and storage management capabilities in one flexible, easy-to-use package that can be easily integrated with business partner solutions.

The enterprise suite is designed for customers who want to integrate their Windows NT applications with mainstay legacy systems to protect significant information technology (I/T) assets and skills. This enterprise version builds upon the departmental business suite and provides a robust infrastructure for hosting network computing applications, which includes groupware, communications, data, systems and storage management, transaction processing, and messaging software.

"The enterprise suite is an excellent addition to IKON's technology solutions offerings and will help enhance our position in the market," said Dan Cohen, president, IKON Technology Services' Pittsburgh. "The strength of IBM's offerings for Windows NT, coupled with IBM's solid technical support, are a real value proposition for IKON."

IBM will begin shipping beta versions of the suites to business partners in April. The suites, which support 10 international languages, will be generally available to business partners in the second quarter. IBM and Lotus channel partners will market all three versions.

For More Information
IBM, the world's largest software provider, creates, develops and manufactures the industry's most advanced information technologies, including computer systems, software, networking systems, storage devices and microelectronics.

IBM offers complete information about the company, its products, services and technology to Internet users through its home page, located at http://www.ibm.com. The fastest and easiest way to get information on IBM Software is go to IBM Software home page at http://www.software.ibm.com. For information on the new IBM suites and other IBM solutions for Windows NT, visit http://www.software.ibm.com/nt.

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* Indicates trademark or registered trademark of International Business Machines Corporation.

**Indicates trademark of respective companies.

Contact(s) information

Theo Chirsholm
IBM
914-766-1180
theoc@us.ibm.com

Margaret Bonilla
Brodeur Porter Novelli
617-587-2840
mbonilla@brodeur.com

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