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IBM and Thomson To Deliver Full Service e-Learning Solution to The Regence Group


ARMONK, N.Y, & STAMFORD, CT - 19 Mar 2003: IBM, the leading provider of learning technology and services, and The Thomson Corporation (TSX: TOC; NYSE: TOC), the world's largest provider of corporate and professional learning solutions, today announced a three-year agreement with The Regence Group, a leading healthcare provider, to deliver a one-stop, online corporate training solution for its workforce.

As part of the agreement, NETg, a Thomson business and a worldwide leader in corporate education and training, will work with IBM to provide The Regence Group, a close affiliation of four Blue Cross and/or Blue Shield companies serving Oregon, Idaho, Utah, and parts of Washington, with content, learning technology and more than 350 e-learning courses. This solution will be hosted on NETg's Hosted Learning platform, which allows content to be pulled from multiple sources, personalized and deployed according to an organization's unique requirements. A focused set of Regence employees will also have access to IBM's Digital Video Library, which brings IBM classes and expert instructors right to the desktop. The IBM Digital Video Library includes instructor lectures captured live on video, student notes, and access to a rich Web site that allows students to interact with the instructor, participate in student discussion groups, and take unit tests, pre-tests and post-tests.

"We needed a full suite of infrastructure and services, as well as an experienced provider that could offer quality content, easy implementation and full-service administration," said Tawnya Ellis, supervisor of professional development in The Regence Group's Information Technology Services division. "IBM and Thomson offer a learning solution that meets the needs of our organization. The depth of content for IT, desktop, and business and professional skills, and the highly interoperable technologies they deliver will give our employees the tools they need in today's knowledge-based business environment."

The IBM and Thomson alliance was forged last year to jointly pursue the $18 billion market for corporate and government e-learning worldwide. Together, IBM and Thomson have the world's largest e-learning sales force and support team, providing courses in 21 languages including English, Spanish, German, French, Mandarin, Cantonese, Korean, Japanese, Hungarian and Polish.

The move comes as companies are increasingly turning to e-learning solutions to become more efficient. With the exception of Web infrastructure, e-mail and search engines, according to industry analyst firm, Gartner Inc., by 2005, e-learning will be the most-used corporate application on the Web.

"This agreement with The Regence Group demonstrates the growing demand by companies for e-learning solutions that will bolster efficiencies, shave costs and fundamentally transform their businesses," said Nancy DeViney, General Manager, of IBM Learning Solutions. "The IBM and Thomson alliance marries the technology and services of IBM with the learning content and solutions of Thomson to deliver e-learning solutions that drive tangible results and return on investment."

In offering e-learning solutions and technologies to companies like The Regence Group, IBM and Thomson have teamed to effectively sell the same homegrown e-learning technologies they have used to transform their own internal workforces. IBM, for example, saved $350 million in 2002 - in addition to $395 million in 2001 -- through e-learning. Almost half of all IBM employees are educated via e-learning. Thomson also provides learning solutions to employees enrolled in its corporate university, including an eMBA.

"With IBM, we are delivering on our promise to provide the best possible combination of industry leading products and services along with the software tools and technology to meet the Regence Group's learning needs," said Alex Brnilovich, president and CEO of the Thomson Lifelong Learning Group. "This agreement is just the beginning of our joint effort to provide an enterprise wide learning solution for corporate and professional markets."

Contact(s) information

James Sciales
IBM Media Relations
(914) 766-4664
sciales@us.ibm.com

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