Arizona State University Names IBM Sole Notebook Provider

IBM Chosen over Dell and Compaq for MBA Program

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Armonk, NY - 14 Mar 2001: Arizona State University (ASU) and IBM today announced they have signed a $700,000 deal for IBM to provide ThinkPad ® notebook computers for incoming students of the College of Business. With this contract, IBM displaces Dell and Compaq to become the exclusive provider of mobile wireless systems for the MBA program.

Students entering the College of Business will purchase a notebook computer as part of their curriculum requirements. The IBM ThinkPad T21 and X20 notebooks will be specially configured by IBM for ASU's wireless technology infrastructure. The school's notebook requirement will leverage a common wireless operating environment, offering mobility and interoperability for faculty, staff and students. The wireless ThinkPad's will allow ASU users to focus on casework, testing, class assignments and problem analysis via email and the Internet, rather than on the technical details of file and software exchange.

"Following the success of last year's pilot program, we are excited to be starting the fall semester with IBM as our partner for mobile and wireless e-infrastructure, providing full time MBA students with the technology and collaborative learning tools they need for a richer learning environment," said Dennis Hoffman, Associate Dean, ASU College of Business. "IBM met the specific needs of our program, in terms of cost, quality and service, and they share in our belief of providing the best education available to students."

When selecting a vendor, ASU required certain specifications to meet the needs of its students and faculty. Among those were ultra portability, speed and cost. The ThinkPad T21 and X20 notebook computers beat out all competitors by providing extreme mobility, ultra sleek design with both Celeron and Pentium chip options for speed and price flexibility. ASU also required a vendor who could provide global support to students fulfilling curriculum requirement via international internships.

Students entering the Program this fall will be able to research the ThinkPad notebook and options available to them via a secure web site maintained and provided by IBM. When ready to place their order, students will call IBM Direct, using a toll free telephone number, and providing a unique ASU MBA program key code. Notebooks, as well as a CD ROM containing the Program's Common Operating Environment (COE) software, will then be shipped to students directly.

"This is a key technology relationship for all of us," said Thomas Dekle, Director Marketing/Merchandising, PCD Direct. "IBM has a strong commitment to education and we believe that in working with ASU, we will be able to facilitate an anytime, anywhere learning atmosphere while providing the best in mobile computing technology, service and support. Our ability to provide one-stop shopping for cost-effective solutions was instrumental in establishing this partnership. Working together with ASU, we anticipate giving students the quality that they expect from IBM and ASU's world-class MBA program."