IBM Announces WebSphere Portal, New Portal Application and Content Providers


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Somers, NY - 09 Oct 2001: Delivering on its strategic direction of a single portal, IBM today announced IBM WebSphere Portal, software in three simple solution packages to match customers varying portal needs.

IBM WebSphere Portal provides a single point of interaction with dynamic information, applications, processes and people, which are essential for building successful business-to-employee (B2E), business-to-business (B2B) and business-to-consumer (B2C) portals. WebSphere Portal also supports a wide variety of pervasive devices enabling users to interact with their portal anytime, anywhere, using any device, wired or wireless.

The three, tiered solution packages are:

"IBM's WebSphere Portal addresses Perficient's need for a secure means through which our mobile consulting professionals can communicate, collaborate and gain access to dynamic information and applications. We expect to realize an excellent return on investment and increased partner loyalty as a result of migrating our Plumtree-based portal to WebSphere Portal," said Sam Fatigato, president, Perficient, Inc.

WebSphere Portal exploits the power and scalability of the WebSphere Application Server, IBM's core technology for Web-based applications, and is another example of how IBM is extending the WebSphere software platform and creating a truly integrated software infrastructure for successful e-business.

The WebSphere Portal has evolved from IBM's existing portal offerings -- WebSphere Portal Server, WebSphere User Experience and Lotus K-station. Existing portal customers' investments will be protected because the three existing offerings are being integrated into the WebSphere Portal along with advanced collaboration, security enhancements and more than a hundred new portlets.

Whether a customer wants to implement a simple portal and enhance its capabilities in stages, or immediately exploit the full breadth of IBM portal capabilities, the packaged options of WebSphere Portal are designed to meet a customer's unique circumstances.

"We are delivering on what we told customers we would do just a short time ago. WebSphere Portal is unmatched for versatility and breadth of capability and its foundation represents the integration of rock-solid software infrastructure products across IBM, including Lotus and Tivoli," said Larry Bowden, vice president, e-portal solutions, IBM.

Also, seven new members have joined the IBM PartnerWorld Portlet Providers Program and will develop portal applications, known as portlets, for WebSphere Portal. They are: TheBrain Technologies Corporation for enterprise knowledge applications; Datamonitor for industry- and company-specific content; FatWire Corporation and Documentum for content management; Infisys, Inc. for health care information management; River Run Software for mobile computing, and Citrix Systems Inc.for server-based application access and publishing. Some 30 application and content providers are now developing portlets for WebSphere Portal.

WebSphere Portal Enable Solution
WebSphere Portal Enable and the other solution packages share a common framework and set of services. The framework provides connectivity, integration, administration, personalization and presentation that are required across portal environments. For example, the connectivity services allow users to access enterprise data, external news feeds, and applications from their business partners.

WebSphere Portal Enable provides a number of portal applications, or portlets, for e-mail, calendars, collaboration, syndicated news, application integration and other functions. In keeping with IBM's open product strategy, a portlet application program interface (API) is available so customers or other software vendors can extend the portlet portfolio.

IBM's portfolio of available portlets is expanding quickly to include access to enterprise resource planning, (ERP), customer relationship management (CRM) and supply chain management (SCM) enterprise applications, as well as host applications, further improving the productivity of the portal user.

WebSphere Portal Extend Solution
In addition to interacting with information and applications, portal users need to collaborate and share knowledge. The IBM WebSphere Portal Extend Solution adds out-of-the box portal work spaces equipped with team collaboration tools, on-line people awareness and instant messaging customized for individual, team or community work requirements.

One option for IBM's portal customers is to use the K-station user interface and its work space design while still accessing the portlets provided through the WebSphere Portal. IBM previously announced that K-station functionality would be fully integrated into the WebSphere Portal framework as collaborative services in the first quarter of 2002. As a first step, IBM is providing interoperability between K-station and the WebSphere Portal framework in 2001 as part of the Extend and Experience Solutions.

WebSphere Portal Extend also includes extended search capabilities that initiate multiple search engines. This enables portal users to search relational databases, such as DB2 and Oracle, Lotus Notes Domino databases, text or HTML (hypertext markup language) documents and launch Web search engines.

"IBM's decision to blend K-station's collaborative functionality with the WebSphere Portal framework can result in more flexibility for us," said Ole Jørgensen, CIO, Statoil, the largest operator on the Norwegian continental shelf with oil and natural gas operations in 22 countries and 16,000 portal users. "We are building portals for internal and external users. Each has different requirements. We are currently using K-station for the employee portal and we also will evaluate the full IBM portal solution for our total portal requirements."

WebSphere Portal Experience Solution
The IBM WebSphere Portal Experience Solution is the most extensive solution for developing, deploying and maintaining enterprise portals that will provide a first-class experience for employees, IBM Business Partners and customers. In addition to the features and functions provided with the WebSphere Portal Extend Solution, WebSphere Portal Experience adds additional advanced collaboration capabilities of Lotus QuickPlace and Sametime technologies such as support for electronic meetings, application sharing, disconnected team room and electronic white boards.

It also provides enterprise content management functions with the IBM Content Manager, and enhances the security capability of the portal with Tivoli SecureWay Policy Director.

Increasing the portal's capability
Depending on a customer's portal focus, WebSphere Portal can be extended with additional software from IBM Business Partners and from IBM that includes IBM WebSphere Everyplace Server for wireless network infrastructure, Lotus Discovery Server for Knowledge Management, IBM Enterprise Information Portal for advanced information integration and connectivity, plus Voice, Location Based Services, Dynamic Translation and other capabilities of the WebSphere platform.

IBM Global Services has developed portal-related services around WebSphere Portal that help customers realize the full return on portal investments through the integration of people, processes and technology. These services include Portal Jumpstart and Community-Based Service offerings.

IBM also announced today that through its agreement with SAP Portals it is now offering customers software that gives them the ability to integrate key enterprise business applications from SAP, PeopleSoft Inc., Baan, Oracle Financials and others into portal solutions deployed using WebSphere Portal.

WebSphere Portal will be available worldwide in November. The list price will be $55,000 per processor for the Enable Solution and $95,000 per processor for Extend. The Experience Solution is only available in a minimum four-processor bundle for $580,000.

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

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* IBM, WebSphere, Lotus, Lotus Notes, Lotus Notes Domino, Tivoli and DB2 are trademarks or registered trademarks of International Business Machines Corporation in the United States, others countries, or both. All other company, product or service names may be trademarks or service marks of others.

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