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Sony Computer Entertainment Australia pushes the envelope of mobile entertainment with IBM

Latest project in a five-year relationship delivers interactive, networked entertainment to PlayStation community

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Sydney, Australia - 22 Nov 2005: The recent successful launch of the PSP® (PlayStation®Portable) handheld entertainment system was also a successful milestone in a five-year, multi-million dollar, business and IT transformation project being delivered by IBM for Sony Computer Entertainment Australia and New Zealand (SCE Aust./NZ).

IBM's Business Consulting and Global Services teams, together with SCE Aust./NZ, designed, built and deployed new Web site platforms and the ensuing backend integration to support PSP launches in Australia and New Zealand. The local Web sites www.yourpsp.com.au and www.yourpsp.com.nz went live leading up to the public launch of PlayStation Portable on September 1 and provided the primary source of information about the new devices for the entire PlayStation community.

The new Web environment is the consumer gateway to PlayStation Portable and represents a key customer channel. In addition to scores of rich content the Web site manages interactive consumer registration, product registration and download services. It is tightly integrated with existing SAP data sources, online forums and CRM systems - all built and implemented by IBM with support from SCE Aust./NZ. .The core applications and infrastructure forms a baseline that can be expanded to cater for additional features and functionality as requirements are defined.

"The new PSP Web sites and underlying infrastructure were a critical element to the successful launch of PSP. Knowing we could rely on IBM to deliver this on time and to scope was important. It freed us up to focus on our core business: delivering the best possible mobile entertainment experience to our customers," said Michael Ephraim, Managing Director, SCE Aust./NZ.

Mr Ephraim continued: "We enjoyed a close relationship with PwCC, which expanded greatly when IBM came into the picture. We have the best of two worlds - business insight and technology delivery."

Andrew Stevens, Managing Partner, IBM Business Consulting Services said, "From the start, our deep understanding of Sony Computer Entertainment's Australian and New Zealand business strategy enabled us to develop a long-term plan to transform SCE's operations at a business process and IT level. The latest PSP project, which combines IBM's consulting and IT services capabilities, adds another successful chapter to this story."

The latest milestone in a successful long-term journey
This project is the latest in IBM's long relationship with SCE. In 1999 IBM's Business Consulting Services group, then known as PricewaterhouseCoopersConsulting (PwCC), signed a consulting engagement with SCE to provide strategic business counsel in areas such as project risk management, management of the long-term IT spend, project governance and accountability for solution integration. One of the early IBM projects saw SCE's supply chain and customer relationship management processes transformed via the implementation of an SAP system.

The IBM-SCE relationship was greatly expanded under the terms of a five year, multi-million dollar business consulting, IT hosting and managed services agreement signed in 2004.

The 2004 agreement allowed SCE to move from fixed-monthly cost hosting model to IBM's variable low cost, capacity based model for its many SAP-based applications. The hosting services include proactive monitoring (availability and performance), security and vulnerability services, backup and restore and server resource management. This also involved transferring the existing PlayStation.com.au/.nz Sun hardware in a Telstra data centre to the IBM eServer xSeries platform hosted at an IBM Global Services data centre.

IBM also supplies the technical support, application development services and maintenance of the PlayStation.Com platform, including help desk services for SCE employees.

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