Fantastic Corporation Form Global Strategic Alliance Alliance To Enhance Rich-Media Broadband Solutions

Companies to Display Joint Broadband Initiatives at NAB 2001 - Las Vegas

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NAB 2001, Las Vegas - 25 Apr 2001: IBM and The Fantastic Corporation (Neuer Markt Frankfurt, stock exchange - FAN) today announced a global strategic alliance to give providers and users of broadband services, seamless, easy-to-use, digital content management and distribution capabilities.

Combining IBM's digital media solutions with Fantastic's broadband content delivery systems, the resulting offerings will deliver broadband capabilities that enhance end-user's interactive, multi-media experiences.

The alliance agreement, one of IBM's first in the digital media and entertainment industry - expands a European initiative the two announced in December of 2000. Under the terms of this new agreement, the partners will jointly market their integrated digital media solution, including Fantastic's Channel Management Center and Channel Editorial Center applications running on IBM hardware and software.

In sales to existing and new customers, Fantastic will lead with the IBM eServer* zSeries* and pSeries* hardware platforms and IBM infrastructure software, including DB2* Universal Database, Content Manager* and the WebSphere* family of products, as well as make use of IBM's storage solutions. IBM Global Services will serve as lead integrator. In addition, an equity stake has been negotiated between the companies, the terms of which are undisclosed.

IBM and Fantastic will combine forces in sales, marketing, development and system integration services, delivering a clear, consistent pathway to evolve and develop new solutions in the expanding rich-media marketplace.

The rich-media market, across all industries, according to Jupiter Research, is projected to grow to $34 billion in IT opportunity by 2004. The drivers for the expected growth include enterprise demand for dynamic content, end-user demand for rich media content, content providers seeking additional outlets for their content, and the desire of carriers to pursue new broadband business opportunities. Bringing IBM and Fantastic's technologies together will deliver enhanced digital content and distribution capabilities to enterprises and content providers.

"The goal of the IBM and Fantastic Corporation partnership is to bring current and future customers, worldwide, the best in broadband and rich-media solutions," said Dick Anderson, IBM general manager of Global Media and Entertainment. "This is the first step in a long-term relationship, where together, IBM and Fantastic can transform the rich-media marketplace with world-leading content management and delivery solutions."

The Fantastic Corporation provides highly integrated solutions for aggregation, broadcast, and consumption of rich-media content. Fantastic will integrate their digital broadcast distribution software with IBM's digital media systems and content management solutions. The resulting delivery systems include such offerings as the IBM WebSphere Edge Server, and provide scaleable, reliable, content delivery solutions. Fantastic is porting its software (Channel Management Center and Channel Editorial Center) to IBM AIX and Linux. The resulting solutions will be written in open, industry standard tools, and will allow for the delivery of targeted content to any IP-enabled device.

"We are extremely pleased and honored to be partnering with IBM to drive the acceptance of broadband solutions globally," said Fantastic's Chairman and CEO Reto Braun. "The combined strengths of IBM and Fantastic will allow us to move quickly to offer comprehensive broadband multimedia solutions that will help enterprises lower costs and open up new business opportunities for networks and content providers."

With this solutions offering strategy, Fantastic and IBM bring outstanding value to three customer groups: content providers, can now create new business opportunities by enriching their services and products over broadband networks; enterprises, can deploy and extend their information distribution over IP-based broadband network for content; and network service providers, can bring a whole new class of services to fulfill customer needs, utilizing their existing and planned broadband infrastructures.

The Fantastic Corporation strategic alliance is another example of IBM's commitment to go-to-market with leading independent software vendors through the PartnerWorld for Developers program ( Under this initiative, IBM has signed agreements with companies such as Siebel Systems, Retek and PeopleSoft. These alliances target industries such as financial services, retail and manufacturing and solution segments including enterprise resource planning, supply chain management, customer relationship management and business intelligence. The goal is to provide developers with access to new customers and revenue opportunities through IBM's marketing, sales, and solutions resources. In return, developers commit to lead with IBM's middleware, server platforms, and services.

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