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New IBM Solutions Offer Simplified Approach To Services For Businesses Of All Sizes


AN FRANCISCO - 16 Feb 1998: .. IBM* today announced IBM ServiceSuite*, which conveniently prepackages the most popular hardware and software support services for small and medium-sized businesses, as well as departments within larger enterprises. This solution, announced at IBM's Business Partner Executive Conference, coverssystems built around any IBM server - enterprise servers, midrange systems, Netfinity* servers and personal systems** - including all components, disks, tapes, networks, clients and printers.

ServiceSuite also provides support services for selected hardware and software products from other vendors, subject to geographic availability. With this global solution, a growing set of product support services from IBM Global Services can be combined on one contract, with a consolidated invoice which includes all services.

ServiceSuite can complement the solutions offered by IBM Business Partners and assist them in supporting the services requirements of small and medium-sized businesses, as well as departments within larger enterprises. Additionally, ServiceSuite simplifies the sales process for IBM Business Partners, their remarketers, and the IBM sales force.

"This new solution allows customers to purchase a seamless set of maintenance and support offerings, designed to help them navigate through today's complex IT environment," said Yves Lozach, director of channels strategy, product support services, IBM Global Services. "It is part of a continuum of improvements to product support services instituted by IBM over the past year."

In the United States, IBM today also announced IBM ServiceElect*. Designed primarily for large enterprises, ServiceElect makes it easier to craft a customized hardware and software services solution. Solutions similar to ServiceElect are available in all other regions in which IBM does business.

IBM ServiceSuite : A Flexible Solution for Customers and Business Partners
ServiceSuite comes in three packages: Base -- providing hardware maintenance; Advanced -- the Base package plus remote software support, which includes telephone and electronic operational and usage assistance, as well as notification of potential hardware and software problems; and, in some countries, Premium -- the Advanced package plus on-site software support.

Customers with the Advanced or Premium package can further tailor their solutions by adding services from selectable options, subject to country availability, which may include: * warranty service upgrade -- provides an enhanced level of service during the original warranty period * performance management -- assists customers in managing peak periods and fine tuning their operating systems by providing performance utilization reports * LAN management -- provides customers with remote support to help enhance the efficiency and effectiveness of their LANs * end user care -- provides comprehensive end user telephone support to resolve problems whether they occur in the workstation, network or server.

ServiceSuite, which leverages new features of the IBM Business Partner agreement, will be available worldwide through IBM Business Partners, direct marketing and the IBM sales force. The customer has multiple options for contract duration, with attractive financing from IBM Global Financing.

IBM ServicesAssistant*, a new Internet-based pricing, proposal and contract generation tool, has been designed for ease of use by IBM's and IBM Business Partners' sales and administrative personnel. In addition, IBM will facilitate access to ServiceSuite information with Internet-based education and training.

"We are listening to our customers and our Business Partners and are making it simpler to do business with IBM. The comprehensive capability being announced today delivers simplified contracting, improved tools and streamlined processes, all at a competitive price," said Lozach. "ServiceSuite will continually evolve with additional offerings to satisfy the services needs of the global and local marketplace."

IBM ServiceElect: Customized Solutions Made Simpler
In the United States, IBM today announced ServiceElect, designed primarily for large enterprises requiring customized, integrated services solutions. ServiceElect combines hardware maintenance with other product support services for IBM S/390*, IBM AS/400*, IBM RS/6000*, IBM Netfinity* Server, IBM Printing Systems, IBM Personal Systems and services for selected hardware from other vendors.

IBM services specialists work with the customer to custom-select the services that are most appropriate for their total support needs. All ServiceElect offerings can be wrapped into one consolidated contract. ServiceElect will be available in the U.S. through the IBM sales force and direct marketing beginning March 1, 1998.

"Managing IT investments to maximize availability and effectiveness is critical and, often, very complex in larger organizations," said Mike Daniels, general manager, product support services - U.S., IBM Global Services. "We'll work to fully understand a company's IT environment and business objectives, then use our experience and know-how to help a customer select the right set of services to match up with their unique needs."

Simplified Contracting and Billing
With ServiceSuite and ServiceElect solutions, a growing set of services can now be combined on one contract. The one type of contract used for these solutions replaces multiple current IBM services contracts, has consistent service terms and conditions, requires a single signature page and generates a consolidated invoice, which includes all services.

Continued Improvements in Delivery of Services
The creation of ServiceSuite and ServiceElect, simplified approaches to tailored customer support solutions, is one more advance in IBM's ongoing effort to stay on the forefront of changing customer needs. They join IBM ServicePac*, previously announced worldwide, resulting in three specialized, simplified approaches to purchasing support services. ServicePac, sold through IBM Business Partners, is a single service in a "shrink-wrapped" package, with predefined terms and conditions.

Depending on the location, the ServicePac services include Warranty and Maintenance Options, End User Support, Remote Technical Support, Recovery Services for PCS, and Recovery Services for End Users.

In addition to these announcements, IBM has instituted a number of sweeping changes over the past year to help resolve customer IT problems faster. These include: * standard levels of service for hardware maintenance; * sophisticated hardware maintenance data repository; and * enhanced remote problem diagnosis capability, with fast access to highly trained technicians.

IBM Global Services, headquartered in Somers, N.Y., delivers strategic IT solutions that help customers to transform their businesses, improve time to market, and increase shareholder value. With 1997 revenue of $25.7 billion and 110,000 professionals in 164 countries, IBM Global Services is the world's largest and most versatile IT services provider. Its capabilities span a complete range, including product support and global network services, as well as consulting, outsourcing, systems integration, and education and training.

For more information on ServiceSuite and ServiceElect, visit http://www.as.ibm.com/asus . To speak to an IBM sales specialist, call 1-888-426-4343 or contact an IBM Business Partner. IBM Business Partners in North America can call PartnerLine at 1-800-426-9990 for more information.

Outside of North America, contact an IBM sales specialist or IBM Business Partner or visit the IBM Global Services home page at http://www.ibm.com/services. IBM Business Partners can contact IBM PartnerLine worldwide.

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* Trademark or registered trademark of IBM Corporation.

** In response to IBM customers' and business partners' needs for an improved way to contract and order IBM PC services, it is IBM's intent to provide ServiceSuite to PC Business Partners. IBM will communicate, by geography, when ServiceSuite will be available for the PC Business Partners.

Contact(s) information

Andrea R. Minoff
IBM
(914) 766-4594
aminoff@us.ibm.com

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