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IBM Software Helps Employees at All Levels Align Their Objectives With Company Strategy


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ARMONK, NY - 21 Oct 2005: IBM today announced IBM Workplace for Business Strategy Execution, new software that provides workers and managers at all levels of an organization with role-specific work environments to help more effectively execute on their business objectives. IBM Workplace for Business Strategy Execution can help employees understand how their activities impact the success of their company strategy, while providing company leaders with tools that can rapidly resolve actual or projected business challenges using built-in collaborative functions.

According to feedback from IBM's customers and partners, more companies are recognizing that while they have lots of data and a sound business strategy, the execution of the strategy needs improvement. IBM Workplace for Business Strategy Execution helps employees understand their company's strategy in concrete terms, focus on what is important, and remain current on status and risks.

A department leader can use IBM Workplace for Business Strategy Execution to clearly communicate team objectives and how they fit into the company's strategy; link to and monitor internal and external dependencies that could affect the ability to reach objectives; track progress toward the objectives though intuitive scorecards and dashboards; and initiate actions to correct gaps in performance.

"IBM Workplace for Business Strategy Execution addresses a simple and fundamental issue facing most companies: effectively reaching the objectives they have set," said Larry Bowden, vice president, IBM Workplace Software Solutions. "The new product relies on the leadership of the company to determine their unique strategy, but then provides the employees with the tools to accomplish the objectives that relate to that strategy."

IBM Workplace for Business Strategy Execution uses a customer's existing investments and presents business data from a variety of sources into intuitive dashboards. People can quickly assess status, drill down for further insight and collaboratively respond to projected shortfalls in achieving objectives. Employees can receive alerts from monitored systems and initiate corrective action. Scorecards enable executives and other business leaders to track company objectives and initiatives over the long term, in addition to their own dashboards, which surface relevant information to help improve day-to-day business performance. The software uses status maps and intuitive graphs to align tasks in a business process to the larger strategic objectives of an organization. This can help give individuals a clearer set of objectives and measure their performance against a strategy, helping groups stay aligned during market shifts or changes in business direction.

IBM Workplace for Business Strategy Execution is designed for organizations and departments of any size, ranging from large enterprises to small to medium-sized businesses. It can be installed in less than an hour.

Growing Market Creates Opportunity for IBM's Business Partners
As one of the first products to address the growing demand for software to help align strategy and execution, IBM Workplace for Business Strategy Execution has already generated significant support from the IBM business partner community. Over 25 business partners have been enabled, including companies that develop business intelligence and reporting software, such as Actuate, arcplan, Business Objects, Cognos, and Hyperion.

Financial and business news partner MarketWatch, a service of Dow Jones, is evaluating the software and intends to work with IBM to target mutual customers. IBM has support from partners in the risk and relationship management space with Centerprise (enterprise risk management) and iEnterprises (customer relationship management), as well as WebSphere® Business Monitor for business process monitoring and Trilog Group for project management. Digital Harbor will provide expertise in application development and information integration for IBM customers, and StorePerform will use IBM Workplace for Business Strategy Execution to bridge the gap between strategy and execution at leading retailers.

In addition to software providers, several systems integrators are building business practices based on IBM Workplace for Business Strategy Execution. Binary Tree, LBS Consulting, Perficient, Prolifics, Strategic Computer Solutions, Unity Software, Versant and 4C Technologies have all made IBM Workplace for Business Strategy Execution part of their portfolio. In addition to external systems integrators, IBM Global Services teams are evaluating IBM Workplace for Business Strategy Execution to manage some of their largest client engagements.

"MarketWatch is excited by the opportunities that the IBM Workplace for Business Strategy Execution product affords current and prospective clients," said Jeff Misenti, director, product management, MarketWatch Licensing Services. "We believe that business leaders will benefit from the insight provided by our news and industry portlets. For example, sales leaders can track competitors in context of their objectives by configuring the IBM Workplace for Business Strategy Execution dashboard to display MarketWatch portlets that monitor competitors' announcements and stock performance."

IBM Workplace for Business Strategy Execution is based on a services oriented architecture (SOA), which enables customization of scorecards and dashboards. New services can be dragged and dropped onto a dashboard and automatically linked to a scorecard. Templates of common scenarios have been prebuilt and are available "out of the box" for immediate use.

Pricing and Availability
IBM Workplace for Business Strategy Execution is available for small and medium business (SMB) and departmental deployments for $99 per user, or bundled with IBM Workplace Services Express portal infrastructure at $196 per user (SRP). It is also available for large Enterprise customers, priced at $95,000 per processor, or bundled with WebSphere Portal infrastructure at $218,000 per processor (SRP).

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