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IBM Introduces New Technology to Transform Financial Trading Floors

High-Resolution Monitor Designed for Market's Switch to Decimalized Stock Prices; Centralized Workstations Pull Computers Off Crowded Trading Floors

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New York, NY - 27 Feb 2001: -- IBM today announced a new rack-mounted computer workstation and flat-panel monitor that help free up space and reduce energy and maintenance costs in the hectic, cramped working environment of financial trading floors. IBM's new solution, which builds on the company's significant trading floor business, moves workstations from traders' desks to a back room where up to 42 pizza-box-shaped systems can be stacked in an industry-standard six foot (42U) rack.

IBM will also introduce a next-generation, space-saving 20.8-inch flat panel monitor that offers two-and-a-half times the resolution of typical large-screen monitors available today. The monitor was designed with the clarity and definition required to display stocks and options expressed as decimals, which has been adopted by the major U.S. stock exchanges to replace the fraction system.

"Technology changes so rapidly, and traders' requirements are so demanding, that financial institutions usually need to rebuild their trading floors every few years," said Larry Tabb, Group Director, Tower Group. "Dramatic shifts in technology, such as IBM's new solution, can spur firms to make the leap and change their infrastructure."

IBM's solution includes the new IntelliStation(R) R Pro remote trader workstation, the industry's first 1U rack-mounted computer targeted at financial institutions. The 1.75-inch high workstations are stacked vertically on racks in a separate computer room, eliminating the tangle of computers, cables and plugs under traders' desks, helping to make maintenance easier and reduce heat on the trading floor. The Intel(R) processor-based workstations, with their single- or dual Pentium(R) III processors and up to 4 GB(1) of SDRAM memory, can easily handle traders' data-intensive workload while taking up one-tenth the space of typical workstation towers. The IBM IntelliStation R Pro can run industry-standard financial trading room applications such as Reuters 3000Xtra(2), the new flagship product from Reuters that provides equity, fixed income, money market, commodities and energy traders with real-time financial information and web-based research services(2).

Remote workstations are easier to deploy, support and manage, so they help reduce downtime for busy traders. New software applications can be installed quickly, and computers can be switched easily as teams of brokers rearrange their location when securities or clients change. Remote management also improves security since workstations are locked in a central room and viruses cannot be introduced by diskettes or CD-ROMs on the trading floor.

The IBM solution offers customers further benefits with the new IBM T210 flat panel monitor, which delivers a 20.8-inch viewable image and an industry-leading resolution of 2048x1536 pels. Despite the monitor's compact footprint, its oversized screen enables traders to read two full-sized 8 1/2X11-inch pages side-by-side. Small-footprint, large-screened monitors are ideal for a trading desk, which often holds up to six monitors displaying an array of data, from financial indicators and trading volume to cable news networks and e-mail with customers and other traders.

Customers can realize significant savings with IBM's "back-racked" workstation and flat panel monitors solution. For example, Millennium Partners LP, a New York-based securities firm, recently adopted the solution and was able to expand trading personnel and overall productivity, without increasing real estate or operating costs. The firm moved to new office space in midtown Manhattan that was similar in square footage to its prior facility in the Wall Street area, while it increased the number of trading positions on its floor by 34%. According to Millennium Partners' CIO John Vincenzo, "We needed a modern trading floor designed for ease-of-use and flexibility for the traders, and we also wanted to reduce overall space requirements. By freeing up the extra office space, IBM's advanced technology will have paid for itself within a year."

TV-Quality Video, Cost Savings are Key Features

Video is a key requirement of traders, who simultaneously view streaming video ranging from proprietary information sources to stock tickers and breaking news. The IntelliStation R Pro's Matrox (R) video card delivers television-quality streaming video that can easily be connected to monitors, video conferencing systems and TV feeds on the trading floor via standard cables.

With IBM's new solution, companies can realize significant savings in the form of lower energy costs, better use of space, and reduced furniture expense. IBM's flat panel monitors generate about 30% less heat than cathode ray tube (CRT) monitors. By using flat panel monitors and switching to centrally-located workstations, companies can save as much as 45% in air conditioning costs because of lower heat on the trading floor. Also, IBM's flat panel monitors, which take up one-third the space of CRT monitors, can be mounted off the desk on special brackets so they take up no desk space. This reduces the weight load on traders' desks, allowing firms to purchase regular office furniture as opposed to more expensive trading desks.

"Financial institutions are looking for trading floors that maximize productivity for their traders in a flexible, easy-to-manage environment," said Elaine Sullivan, general manager, IBM Global Financial Markets. "As companies continue their e-business transformation to retain a competitive edge, IBM's innovative and cost-effective trading floor solutions make the best use of space, ensure the rapid, reliable delivery of information in a dramatically improved operational environment, and enable traders to leverage technology to their best business advantage."

The IBM IntelliStation R Pro remote workstation, which will be available in March, comes equipped with built-in Ethernet connection, dual USB ports, two PCI slots, and Ultra 160 SCSI or EIDE hard drive. IBM's T210 monitor will be available in May. IBM will disclose pricing when the new hardware solution becomes available.

About IBM Financial Services

IBM is a leading technology partner to the world's financial services industry. Working directly with its financial services customers, IBM develops and deploys mission-critical industry-specific technology solutions. Those solutions comprise the full range of IBM capabilities including consulting, software, hardware, research and services. For more information, visit: http://www.ibm.com/industries/financialservices

About IBM IntelliStation Workstations and Monitors

The IBM IntelliStation workstation delivers application-focused performance for customers running Linux(R), Windows NT(R) and Windows(R) 2000 operating systems, powered by advanced processors by Intel. The IntelliStation family, which includes the E Pro, M Pro, Z Pro and R Pro, supports a wide range of applications from finance and digital content creation to software engineering, web-development and engineering applications. IBM IntelliStation workstations and options are available through www.ibm.com or by calling 1-888-SHOP-IBM and through IBM authorized resellers. For more information on IBM IntelliStation, visit http://www.pc.ibm.com/us/intellistation.

IBM Visual Products can be purchased directly from IBM at http://www.ibm.com/shop or by calling 1-888-SHOP-IBM, or from an IBM reseller. For more information about IBM Visual Productions, visit: http/www.ibm.com/options.

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I

BM and IntelliStation are registered trademarks of International Business Machines Corporation in the United States and other countries. Microsoft, Windows and Windows NT are trademarks of Microsoft Corporation. Intel and Pentium are registered trademarks of Intel Corporation. Linux is a registered trademark of Linus Torvalds. Other company, product and service names may be trademarks or service marks of others.

1. GB equals 1 billion bytes and MB equals 1 million bytes when referring to storage capacity; accessible capacity may be less.

2. Some software may differ from its retail version (if available), and may not include user manuals or all program functionality. For non-IBM software, applicable third party software licenses may apply. Warranty, service and support for non-IBM product, if any, are provided by third parties, not IBM. IBM makes no representations or warrantees regarding non-IBM products.

Contact(s) information

Bob Page
IBM Media Relations
919-486-0930
rpage@us.ibm.com

Jennifer Atkins
IBM Media Relations
914-642-5414
jatkins@us.ibm.com