IBM Helps Small and Medium Businesses Connect with Mobile Employees

Business Partners to Offer New Start Now Wireless Solutions on IBM Software and Hardware

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SOMERS, N.Y. - 01 Nov 2001: IBM today announced a new offering to help small and medium businesses (SMB) connect a mobile work force to corporate data.

IBM Start Now(a) Wireless Solutions allow businesses to provide employees and customer service personnel with mobile office capabilities and access to product and inventory information from wireless devices.

According to IBM research, the wireless market is growing at more than 50 percent a year, and will be an estimated $234 billion market by 2003. The total IT opportunity for small and medium business is more than $300 billion, and customers spend two-thirds of those dollars on solutions that deliver fast return on their investment-- like IBM servers, software, services and embedded technologies.

IBM Start Now Wireless solutions are delivered locally and exclusively by trained and qualified IBM Business Partners. They incorporate different combinations of IBM software solutions, such as IBM Mobile Connect(a) V2.5, DB2(a) Everyplace Enterprise Edition and Lotus Domino(a) Everyplace Enterprise Server, as well as selected IBM eServer(b) systems, ThinkPad(a) notebooks, and services. The Start Now Solutions program also includes a complete marketing and enablement program, providing Business Partners with recommended software and hardware configurations, instructions for proposing, implementing and extending a complete solution; tested implementation scenarios, independent software vendor (ISV) tools and financing options.

These new wireless solutions are part of the IBM Start Now Solutions for e-business, a family of offerings including: core solutions, which provide the platform needed to do business online; extensions, to move into the more sophisticated areas of business intelligence, collaboration and integration with host systems; and management solutions to optimize and secure a business' Web presence and data. To date, IBM Business Partners have achieved almost 1,700 Start Now specialties, and nearly 500 Business Partner locations around the world are now offering IBM Start Now solutions while adding value with service and technology enhancements.

"IBM's Start Now Wireless Solutions will give SMB customers a fast, inexpensive and scalable solution designed to address the challenge of getting information to employees and customers when and where they need it,'' said Mark Hanny, vice president, Software Channel Marketing, IBM. "These wireless solutions -- until now believed only to be within the reach of large corporations -- will help increase productivity of field personnel and improve customer satisfaction for small and medium businesses without breaking their budgets or requiring advanced in-house technical staff.''

"We've been offering a variety of IBM Start Now solutions for over a year now and this wireless solution really helps round out our capabilities,'' said Tim Lorge, president of The Internet Startup Company, an IBM Business Partner based in Turnersville, N.J. "Now we can offer a full line of services branded by IBM, which really helps us achieve greater credibility with our customers faster than if we were on our own. For our many small and mid-market customers, Start Now Wireless solutions will help them move their data to where it needs to be.''

While there are numerous business challenges that can be addressed with IBM Start Now Wireless Solutions, three typical scenarios help describe the general capabilities of these solutions:

The software components of the IBM Start Now Wireless Solutions consist of the following:

IBM and Wireless
IBM provides the IT infrastructure -- technology, hardware, software and services -- that helps all types of companies develop and deliver real e-business applications virtually anywhere, at any time. IBM has the breadth of partnerships, alliances and technologies to enable customers to connect devices to networks in a secure, reliable and scalable environment. For example, IBM continues to integrate wireless LAN technology into its ThinkPad notebook computers. Select models now feature IBM's innovative dual antenna design, which was invented by IBM Research and provides significantly better signal strength coverage for improved reception and transmission. Also, the newly redesigned ThinkPad A30p models offer integrated Bluetooth wireless communications capabilities, providing even more wireless flexibility. In addition, IBM's High Rate Wireless LAN Gateway provides shared, wireless access to a single high-speed DSL or cable modem Internet connection and includes firewall protection for security -- ideal for small office and home office users.

IBM's leadership in security solutions is also an important part of its wireless strategy. For example, Tivoli Risk Manager now features wireless network vulnerability management based on the Wireless Security Auditor created by IBM Research. Additionally, IBM is delivering secure access management software for secure mobile transactions. The latest version of Tivoli Policy Director is the industry's first software that enables organizations to provide Web single sign-on and authorization to mobile transactions and applications accessed through both Wireless Application Protocol (WAP) and i-mode devices. With this out-of-the-box support for wireless, organizations can deliver a consistent security policy and secure end-user experience across both their wired and wireless enterprise applications and portals.

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