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IBM Adds Electronic Forms Software to IBM Workplace Portfolio to Help Target Vertical Industries


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ARMONK, NY - 22 Nov 2005: IBM today announced IBM Workplace Forms, new electronic forms, or "e-forms," software that can help companies streamline and customize the way employees capture, process and exchange business data. More efficient than paper forms, IBM Workplace Forms provides customers with the ability to take back-end corporate data and applications -- such as inventory figures, customer data or pricing information -- and present it in a consistent interface, which is critical in vertical industries like insurance, government, banking and healthcare.

As an increasing amount of customers demand software and solutions designed for their specific industry, e-forms are playing a key role in helping organizations create industry- and role-specific interfaces for their business applications. IBM Workplace Forms lets customers tailor and customize solutions that transform their business processes, helping to reduce or eliminate the need for manual data entry and increase the accuracy and reliability of business data. As a result, IBM Workplace Forms can help increase efficiency and responsiveness by streamlining the exchange of data and helping customers design work flows that meet their specific business needs.

IBM Workplace Forms are based on Extensible Markup Language (XML), which helps deliver greater interoperability and increased flexibility to customers without limiting their choice in software, operating system or computing platform. IBM currently plans that future versions of IBM Workplace Forms will support XForms, an emerging industry standard for electronic form documents.

"With every business process relying on documents, data and forms, the need to rapidly create, manage and exchange forms and documents in a secure, non-proprietary way is key to productivity," said Ken Bisconti, vice president of Workplace, Portal and Collaboration Software Products at IBM. "IBM Workplace Forms provides an open standards-based electronic forms framework that integrates people, processes and information."

Following are several examples of how IBM Workplace Forms can address customer business challenges in key vertical industries:

--  Government: Government agencies can use e-forms to help meet new
    compliance regulations, as well as enhance the privacy and integrity of
    information. E-forms also allow information to be easily shared within
    various, inter-dependent agencies and departments, while making information
    storage, retrieval and access more efficient.
   
--  Banking/Financial Services: For the banking and financial services
    industries, e-forms can be used for loan and mortgage origination and
    automation, new account enrollment, branch automation and customer self-
    service. Bank customers can use security-rich e-forms to capture data for
    complex payments, treasury management and wire transfers.
   
--  Insurance: Insurance companies can streamline forms-centric business
    processes that are essential to effectively managing the accuracy, cost and
    speed of servicing customers. Insurers can automate policy applications,
    underwriting and claims using web-based and offline forms applications that
    support their major distribution and service channels.
   
--  Healthcare: Healthcare providers can replace paper forms and processes
    with solutions to create, sign, review, verify, route and approve all forms
    securely and electronically using an intranet or extranet. IBM Workplace
    Forms can help lower administration costs and facilitate HIPAA compliance,
    while improving efficiency and quality of care by providing critical
    information to health care practitioners on demand.
   

About IBM

IBM is the world's largest information technology company, with 80 years of leadership in helping businesses innovate. IBM Software offers a wide range of middleware and operating systems for all types of computing platforms, allowing customers to take full advantage of the on demand era. The fastest way to get more information about IBM software is through the IBM Software home page at http://www.ibm.com/software.ibm.com.

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* IBM, Workplace Forms and Workplace are trademarks of IBM Corporation in the United States, other countries, or both.

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