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Lotus and IBM Announce Joint Business Partner Track Targeted at Internet Service Providers

NetService Provider Track Enables Channel to Offer New Value-Added Solutions and Services to Customers

<span style="font - 26 Jan 1998: -- Lotus Development Corp. and IBM today announced a new Business Partner track as part of a continued effort to identify and develop new business opportunities for a growing partner base. The new program, which has already attracted more than 400 Business Partners, recruits and enables 'Net Service Providers ('NSPs) who are eager to offer customers access to a commercial network infrastructure and related offerings for a fee-based service. Leveraging IBM's telecommunications market experience, Lotus will offer 'NSPs a family of proven Internet and Domino-based solutions with the security, reliability and scalability of carrier-grade services.

The 'NSP track, the first Lotus and IBM combined partner track offered to both Lotus Business Partners and IBM BESTeam members, encourages and facilitates the delivery of solutions by Notes and Domino ISVs and Business Partners via Domino Instant! Host. Domino Instant! Host is a Lotus Domino-based hosting technology that enables a new class of Web-based, subscription-model applications developed by Lotus and Lotus Business Partners and offered by 'NSPs. The platform, a joint development effort of Lotus and Interliant, includes system services for application registration, user registration, usage tracking and reporting, and data synchronization. 'NSPs can now offer partner solutions developed on the Domino Instant! Host platform such as GWI Software's Help! for the Web - Domino Version 2.0 that provides Web-based customer support and help desk services and Softnetics' iSupport, a solution that provides high-end support and service capabilities for small- to medium-size businesses.

"Lotus and IBM are in the best position to enable 'NSPs to meet the needs of a growing marketplace due to their leadership in carrier-grade availability and subscription-based business models, leveraging the large number of proven business applications that already exist on Notes and Domino," said Ian Bonner, vice president, Lotus and IBM Worldwide Partner Marketing and Programs, IBM. "Customers seeking outsourced administration will reap the benefits of affordable, Web-based technology while Partners benefit from the opportunity of transitioning from being Internet service vendors to becoming full-fledged Internet service providers."

"The announcement of the new 'NSP track is evidence that Lotus has recognized a growing channel and marketplace," said Jim Lidestri, president & CEO, Interliant, a Lotus 'NSP Alliance Partner and co-developer of Domino Instant! Host. "'NSPs link virtual infrastructures with a wide portfolio of innovative solutions available through Lotus, Internet service vendors and Business Partners. This new approach to providing Internet service facilitates Notes ISVs deployment of e-business solutions, enabling them to reach to a wider, global market, and offering new revenue opportunities with the user-initiated framework of Domino Instant! Host."

Not only has the 'NSP track already attracted more than 400 business partners, it is also enjoying the membership of leading Telcos and Internet Service Providers who have become 'Net Service Provider, Alliance Partners ('NSPAP). New members will receive a variety of technical enablement offerings including Learning Centers, training sessions, and soon-to-be-released business enablement tools, including revenue sharing models, marketing and sales tools, as well as an 'NSP partnering guide. In addition, track members will benefit from targeted marketing programs such as an 'NSP Web Site ( http://www.lotus.com/nsptrack) with links to an 'NSP Domino-based subscription application site and to special support programs offered by Lotus and IBM.

Approximately half of the Lotus Business Partner Program's more than 18,000 members are experienced developers, consultants, and system integrators, eager to exploit new channels to market their packaged products, customized solutions and services. The 'NSP track will be an important fulfillment channel for Lotus and IBM e-business solutions, especially for the small to medium-size business market.

This new track is one of many initiatives put in place at Lotus to empower Business Partners to yield the highest return for customers. To help Business Partners take advantage of new opportunities in the marketplace and to increase the number of quality solutions and services available to customers, Lotus has increasedthe number of education and training programs to further fine-tune the number of specialties and segments within its Partner base. In 1997 alone, Lotus trained over 50,000 individuals worldwide as certified professionals. Business Partners constitute eighty percent of individuals certified at the highest levels of the certification program.

Information about how to become a Lotus Business Partner can be obtained at http://www.lotus.com/partners or by calling 1-800-START-SMART.

The Lotus Business Partner Program supports the worldwide industry of more than 18,000 independent companies that develop and market Lotus-based products and services. The mission of the Business Partner Program is to advance the industry around Lotus products by attracting, empowering, leveraging and differentiating Business Partners to yield the highest return for Lotus' customers, Partners and the company itself. The tremendous interest in messaging, the Internet/ intranets and client/server applications from customers throughout the world has created a large opportunity for Partners who can help apply these technologies towards organizational effectiveness.

Lotus Development Corporation, founded in 1982, is a subsidiary of IBM Corporation. Lotus offers high-quality software products and services that reflect the company's unique understanding of the new ways in which individuals and businesses must work together to achieve success. Lotus' innovative approach is evident in a new class of applications that allows users to access and communicate information in ways never before possible, both within and beyond organizational boundaries. Lotus now markets its products in more than 80 countries worldwide and provides numerous professional consulting, support and education services through the Lotus Services Group.

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Lotus, Lotus Notes, and Lotusphere are registered trademarks and Domino, Notes, and Domino Instant! Host are trademarks of Lotus Development Corporation. All other trademarks are owned by their respective companies.

EDITOR'S NOTE: All news releases and related information issued at Lotusphere are available on the Internet, via Lotusphere On Line at http://www.Lotusphere.com, and via the Lotus Development Corp. Home Page at http://www.Lotus.com. The Lotus Home Page is an easy way to find information about Lotus and its business partners' products and services.

A copy of this release and other company informaiton is also available via fax by dialing 1-800-57-LOTUS within the U.S. and Canada or 201-946-2336 outside the U.S. and Canada.

Contact(s) information

Ann Linnehan
Lois Paul & Partners
781-238-5700
ann_linnehan@lpp.com

Elena Fernandez
Lotus Development Corp
617-693-1606
elena_fernandez@lotus.com

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Information Management, Lotus, Tivoli, Rational, WebSphere, Open standards, open source