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New Workplace Offering From IBM Lotus Software Can Help Increase Retail Store Efficiency While Helping Reduce Operational Costs

IBM Lotus Workplace for Retail Store Operations Combines e-Learning and Portal Software to Help Increase Employee and Customer Satisfaction

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CAMBRIDGE, MA - 20 Aug 2003: IBM today announced the availability of IBM Lotus Workplace for Retail Store Operations, a new software and services offering designed to help simplify and reduce the administrative time spent on in-store processes and training. IBM Lotus Workplace for Retail Store Operations can help streamline access to information, make communication and collaboration among retail employees easier, and support rapid building of the needed in-store skills.

Lotus Workplace for Retail Store Operations integrates IBM Lotus LMS, a full-featured e-learning solution, and IBM WebSphere Portal, a unified, single point of interaction for applications, processes, content and people, resulting in an easy-to-use on-demand employee training and information sharing environment. In addition to helping minimize employee turnover and improving staff skills, the offering provides store managers with the ability to monitor and respond to changing business conditions through a tailored portal. The offering also helps store managers focus on their core job responsibilities by reducing the amount of paperwork and helps create efficiencies by making collaboration within their organization as simple as a click of a mouse.

"We're working with top industry alliances, such as Retek, Thomson Dialog and Crystal Decisions, in designing new offerings such as IBM Lotus Workplace for Retail Store Operations that can help speed the ability for the enterprise to implement the benefits of a pre-integrated solution for their specific industry needs, and thus help increase employee productivity," said Larry Bowden, IBM Vice President, Portal and Lotus Products.

"The IBM Workplace for Retail Store Operations provides retail managers with the tools they need to effectively manage their store operations," said Duncan Angove, Chief Strategy Officer at Retek. "Quick access to sales, top and bottom sellers and stock-outs enable store managers to make rapid decisions that positively impact the bottom line."

"Dialog's expansive depth and breadth of information services into the Workplace for Retail Store Operations is an ideal fit," said Cliff Pollan, Executive Vice President of Technology and Alliances for Dialog, a Thomson business. "Retailers can now gain valuable insights on customers, markets, regions and competitors when they access market research, industry news, competitive profiles, financials and market trends anywhere in their environment -- from corporate headquarters to the retail outlets. They now have a new level of competitive advantage never before available."

"We are excited to team with IBM on the Lotus Workplace for Retail Store Operations offering, providing retail store managers with a single source for critical information," said Janet Wood, Vice President of Business Development for Crystal Decisions. "IBM and Crystal Decisions have always been focused on providing customers with industry-leading solutions. By including Crystal Decisions' reporting and information delivery suite within this new offering, retailers are now able to gain access to corporate data on demand. We look forward to working closely alongside IBM to provide customers with easy access to the critical data needed to help increase employee productivity and reduce costs in the retail industry."

The IBM Lotus Workplace for Retail Store Operations will be available on August 22. Additional information can be found at www.ibm.com/lotus/workplace.

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