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IBM Eases Integration for Mid-Size Business With New Express Offerings

Integration Solutions Help Customers Adopt Growing List of Industry Standards, IT Mandates

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SOMERS, NY - 05 May 2004: IBM today launched four new offerings designed to assist mid-sized companies with the integration of business processes and people, both inside and outside their organization. The new offerings are the latest addition to IBM's growing Express Portfolio of offerings designed specifically for mid-size businesses.

The new integration offerings include IBM WebSphere Business Integration Server Express, a core component in IBM's business process integration strategy for small and medium business (SMB). The new middleware makes it easier for customers to integrate, end-to-end, their existing IT systems, business processes and applications. IBM also announced three new industry-specific Express solutions for mid-size companies in the Electronics, Life Sciences and Manufacturing industries.

Business process integration continues to be one of the single-greatest challenges facing mid-size companies. According to IBM market research, more than seventy-five percent of mid-size businesses across the globe operate in heterogeneous computing environments. At a time when industry standards, supplier IT mandates and government regulations are driving new levels of inside-out integration, many SMBs are still coping with how to integrate their own processes and systems before looking externally.

Closing the Gap Between Business and IT Value
In addition to compliance with industry and IT mandates, the business value of internal system and application integration can help mid-size companies improve customer service, reduce cost and increase productivity. WebSphere Business Integration Server Express uses a range of customizable adapters and pre-packaged process templates that tie together a customer's existing IT environment, including resident customer relationship management (CRM) and enterprise resource planning (ERP) software, Web-enabled product catalogues, e-commerce sites and employee portals. The avoidance of a 'rip and replace' approach allows mid-size companies to leverage their existing IT investments while reducing total cost of ownership and time-to-value for both current and future integration projects.

"WebSphere Business Integration Server Express provides almost immediate back-end integration, right out of the box," said Brian Hall, practice leader for business integration and workflow, Gemini Systems, a regional systems integrator headquartered in New York City. "The WebSphere Business Integration Express toolbox enables faster implementation of standard processes without disrupting the current customer environment. In addition, we have the flexibility to use the array of adapters provided, or create our own, to exactly meet customer requirements."

Headquartered in Huskvarna, Sweden, VSM Group is a leading worldwide manufacturer and distributor of sewing machines. Working with IBM Business Partner, Zystems, VSM is one of the first customers to adopt WebSphere Business Integration Server Express as the backbone of their future integration projects. "We selected WebSphere Business Integration Server Express as the cornerstone for our integration strategy because we needed a scalable, low-cost integration platform to handle message brokering, message transports, adapters and integration between our systems and Web sites," said Peter Josefsson, IT systems specialist, VSM. "Our pilot project will improve the integration between our Web Shops and resident business application from PeopleSoft."

Compliance with Industry Standards and Supplier Mandates
Faced with increasing government regulation -- such as Basel II, HIPAA, The Patriot Act and The Sarbanes-Oxley Act -- mid-size businesses are being forced to track and share more information today than ever before. In addition, many of these customers must adhere to both industry standards and supplier IT mandates from lighthouse accounts, such as the future adoption of Radio Frequency Identification (RFID), a next generation wireless technology that enables real-time visibility of products moving through the supply chain.

"Sharing information across the extended enterprise is critical for manufacturing companies looking to meet global regulatory requirements, shorten time-to-market and improve quality," said Michael Kluiber, senior vice president, Rockwell Automation, a leading global provider of industrial automation power, control and information solutions, and an independent software vendor (ISV) working with IBM in the automotive industry. "The release of WebSphere Business Integration Server Express now makes a scalable integration platform available to the broader SMB marketplace, enabling increased integration between automotive manufacturers, suppliers and machine builders in both established and emerging markets."

Today's announcement builds on three in-market offerings -- WebSphere Business Integration Express for Item Synchronization, WebSphere Business Integration Connect Express and WebSphere MQ Express -- to provide a complete business process integration platform:

IBM WebSphere Business Integration Express for Item Synchronization helps medium-sized businesses link their supply chain information to UCCnet(TM) services, which enable collaborative business-to-business item registration and data synchronization transactions across the Internet. Many retailers have implemented UCCnet services, most notably Wal-Mart is requiring its 8,000 North American suppliers to adopt and implement UCCnet services. The solutions include a process integration collaboration that sends and receives data to the third party registry.

IBM WebSphere Business Integration Connect Express enables customers to quickly and easily join sophisticated trading communities while reducing the risk and cost associated with traditional B2B environments. Leveraging a range of data communication formats and Internet protocols, WebSphere Business Integration Connect Express can also helps customers quickly conform to industry mandates like AS/2.

IBM WebSphere MQ Express is messaging software that can provide assured delivery, both real-time and asynchronous, with improved system availability and throughput. Security is provided through the Secure Sockets Layer (SSL) protocol and includes tools for managing communication between system clusters.

WebSphere Business Integration Server Express is built on open standards and available across multiple platforms. The new middleware starts at $5,999 per processor in the U.S. and will offer support for Microsoft Windows, Linux and IBM OS/400. WebSphere Business Integration Server Express can also be integrated with Web services to facilitate a Service Oriented Architecture (SOA) without programming requirements. WebSphere Business Integration Server Express will be generally available on May 14.

New Industry Solutions for Life Sciences and Electronics
IBM also announced three new industry-specific Express solutions for mid-size customers in the Life Sciences, Electronics and Manufacturing industries.

To help mid-sized electronics manufacturers address evolving consumer trends, product commoditization and intense global competition, IBM is developing and delivering new technology and services that streamline and integrate their processes. The IBM Product Lifecycle Management (PLM) Express Solution for Electronics Manufacturers includes bundled technology based on CATIA V5, for virtual collaborative product development, and SMARTEAM, a collaborative product data management solution developed by Dassault Systèmes.

Starting at $14,240 in the U.S., the PLM Express for Electronics Solution is available immediately. With an optional 36-month IBM Global Financing Lease, mid-size electrical component suppliers can buy a complete PLM Express solution for as low as $439* per month.

IBM Life Sciences Solution for PeopleSoft is designed to support emerging Bio-Pharma, Life Science and Medical Device companies that need to deploy core business processes. This preconfigured solution, delivered by IBM Global Services, supports general ledger, accounts payable, job cost and supply procurement. The solution includes a range of hardware, software, IBM middleware, implementation services and financing to provide a complete packaged solution with a pre-defined scope. The IBM Life Sciences Solution for PeopleSoft is available immediately.

IBM eServer iSeries for PeopleSoft World Express is an integrated solution designed to help SMBs better manage the rising costs and complexity of dynamic on demand IT operations. Built on the IBM eServer iSeries 800 server, the solution includes IBM or Business Partner implementation services, financing options, and the PeopleSoft World Express suite of 31 pre-configured business processes tailored for the industrial manufacturing, warehouse distribution, construction, and home-building industries. The solution frees customers to manage their business and not their computers by integrating advanced business processes across the enterprise, including financials, manufacturing, distribution, human resources and project management.

IBM's Express Portfolio
The IBM Express Portfolio offers hardware, middleware, services and financing -- all tailored to the needs of mid-size businesses -- that can be acquired, installed and managed quickly, are cost-effective, and deliver a rapid return on investment (ROI). More than 60 offerings in the IBM Express Portfolio enable customers to improve the responsiveness and flexibility of their IT infrastructure, so they can concentrate on their core businesses. And because cash flow is one of the most pressing issues for mid-sized businesses, the IBM Express Portfolio is more affordable with a series of attractive financing options. To learn more about IBM's Express Portfolio visit: http://www.ibm.com/businesscenter/us/express/.

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