IBM Strengthens Commitment to Service Providers with xSP Prime

Business Design Workshop and Financial Modeling Tool are Highlights of New Program

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xSP Channel Conference - 20 Aug 2001: Renewing its commitment to service providers, IBM Corporation today announced xSP Prime, an extension and rebranding of IBM's ASP Prime program. Designed to target a wider spectrum of service providers, xSP Prime is set to deliver critical business and technical "go-to-market" assistance. The extended program is positioned to help participants begin reaping the benefits of a market opportunity expected to reach $460 billion by 2005, according to analyst firm IDC.

Until now, IBM's ASP Prime program has focused on providing comprehensive business and technical support to software developers and ASPs aiming to enable and stress-test their applicationsfor deployment in a Web hosted model. The expansion of xSP Prime is built on this successful foundation, as well as IBM's extensive experience supporting a variety of xSPs with programs such as Service Providers for e-business and Hosting Advantage. xSP Prime will broaden its focus to deliver enhanced offerings that are tailored to the deployment requirements of Web Hosters, Internet Data Centers (IDCs) and Storage Service Providers (SSPs) - among others - using IBM hardware, software, and services.

Initial offerings that will be available under xSP Prime include:

"As we rolled out ASP Prime globally and continued working with other xSPs in the market, it became clear that client demand was exceeding our original intent for the program," stated Dave Carlquist, vice president of IBM's Global Net Generation Business. "The service provider sector is an important audience for IBM and with the expansion to xSP Prime, we're helping our Business Partners deliver stronger products and services to market faster, with better business plans and a solid understanding of the benefits -- and sensitivities -- of the xSP and ASP models."

Business Design Workshop and Financial Modeling Tool
IBM's xSP Prime Business Design Workshops are 1-2 day engagements that enable service providers to validate key aspects of their business plan against industry benchmarks while formulating action plans to address potential gaps. The Financial Modeling Tool -- a key component of the Business Design Workshop -- is an assumption-driven economic framework that calculates various "what if" scenarios by entering specific business variables, ultimately resulting in the identification of business and technology priorities. With these results, participants can identify key leverage points and profit sensitivities and help identify next steps required to move their strategic and tactical objectives forward.

"With the Business Design Workshop, IBM has added an important component to its ASP offerings. The Financial Modeling Tool has helped us substantiate our business plan and prioritize our actions," said Frank Rottmayer, managing director of Jump2Net, an ASP based in Speyer, Germany. "The completeness of IBM's xSP strategy and programs has allowed us to set up our ASP offering by working with one business partner, enabling us to focus on what's important."

Technical Strategy Workshop
As a complement to the Business Design Workshop, the Technical Strategy Workshop focuses on helping service providers reduce infrastructure costs and apply appropriate technologies to achieve competitive advantage. The workshop is generally conducted after the Business Design Workshop and entails building a technical design that supports both the business model and the cost limitations identified in the Financial Modeling Tool.

xSP Prime Online
With the new expansion, ASP Prime Online will become xSP Prime Online, a Web-based self-service offering that will provide xSPs a convenient way to gain access to IBM business and technical support offerings to help them in their implementation and deployment. Service providers can quickly go through the online questionnaire and receive immediate feedback with the opportunity to take advantage of a variety of complimentary benefits, including access to marketing and sales support, discounts, educational programs, and software products.

The xSP Prime program will be available immediately, with selected offering extensions rolling out through the end of 2001. The Business Design Workshop and Financial Modeling Tool are currently available for qualifying ASPs and solution developers, and will become available in fourth quarter of 2001 to qualifying Web Hosters and IDCs. The Technical Strategy Workshop is currently available for qualifying ASPs and solution developers, and will become available for other xSPs including qualifying Web Hosters, IDCs, SSPs, and MSPs in September 2001. ASP Prime Online is currently available for ISVs and ASPs and will become available for an expanded xSP audience beginning the fourth quarter of 2001. Qualification is determined by the Service Provider's level of commitment to deploy on IBM infrastructure, which could include hardware, software and/or services.

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