ALLTEL, IBM Expand Relationship With Joint Venture

Companies to Offer 'Real-Time' Core Banking System

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LITTLE ROCK, Ark. & WHITE PLAINS, NY - 13 Mar 2001: ALLTEL and IBM have formed a joint venture to provide Corebank, a continuous "real-time" core banking system, to financial services organizations in Europe. The system enables financial services organizations to more quickly implement new products through alternate delivery channels, including the Internet.

ALLTEL will assume responsibility for the marketing, development, enhancement and maintenance of the Corebank product, while IBM will be responsible for sales and implementation services.

The joint venture will be based in London and will be known as ALLTEL Corebanking Solutions. Corebank offers an integrated product through an open and scalable architecture -- enabling real-time transaction processing and enhanced delivery of products and service.

The strategic alliance expands the existing relationship between the companies and provides ALLTEL with premier partner status in IBM's PartnerWorld program. Under the agreement, ALLTEL is the preferred provider for core banking solutions running on IBM eServer zSeries* with OS/390 software and IBM DB2 Universal Database.

"This agreement strengthens the IBM offering by injecting it with ALLTEL's 30 years of experience in developing mission-critical systems for the banking marketplace, as well as the company's proven ability to develop products to meet the challenges of the world's largest financial services organizations," said Jerry Cole, general manager, IBM Global Financial Services Sector. "The joint venture will improve IBM's ability to assist European bankers with re-engineering their retail banking systems."

"ALLTEL and IBM each enjoy strong, complementary positions in the financial services technology market," said Jeff Fox, president of ALLTEL Information Services. "IBM's strengths include an established sales force in global markets while ALLTEL's strengths include developing, supporting and enhancing applications software. "

"The combined market forces of ALLTEL and IBM in this partnership will create a unique and compelling value proposition for clients and prospects. By combining our extensive marketing and development background with IBM's sales and systems integration capability, we believe we step to the front of the financial services IT marketplace. Corebank is a next generation core banking application that positions ALLTEL to meet the future needs of the financial services marketplace. ALLTEL will continue to develop, sell and implement its existing portfolio of market leading products."

Corebank provides financial services organizations with comprehensive customer information in a "real-time" environment, while allowing banking products to be changed and marketed quickly. Corebank contains comprehensive customer information that it can feed to other systems, such as marketing databases and analytical tools. It provides detailed overviews of customers both as individuals and groups, and its architecture ensures a quick response for its users.

The initial target markets are Germany and France.

This agreement supports IBM's commitment to divesting its applications business in favor of working more closely with Business Partners. In this case, IBM and ALLTEL are establishing a joint venture, and IBM is taking a significant minority equity stake.

"Today's financial services organizations are demanding systems that not only increase operational efficiencies but also support the development of new products," said Mary Maher, core banking executive, IBM Global Banking Industry. "ALLTEL's offerings and IBM's scalable and reliable technologies, combined with our e-business consulting and global services expertise, provide a very impressive solution to financial services organizations worldwide."

The ALLTEL and IBM joint venture is another example of IBM's commitment to go-to-market with leading independent software vendors under the PartnerWorld for Developers program ( www.developer.ibm.com). Under this initiative, IBM has signed strategic alliance agreements with other leading companies. 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.

On a global basis, 30 of the top 100 financial services organizations rely on ALLTEL products and services. Forty-eight of the top 50 U.S. banks rely on ALLTEL for products and services.

This venture is ALLTEL's second major investment in the European marketplace in the past year. In March of 2000, ALLTEL announced the formation of ALLTEL Mortgage Solutions, providing mortgage administration and information technology solutions to the mortgage lending industry. ALLTEL Mortgage Solutions currently services 400,000 residential loans and mortgage assets of more than $25 billion.

These two investments add to ALLTEL's existing solutions for the EMEA market place.

IBM is the world's largest information technology (IT) company and provider of IT services, as well as a preeminent technology partner to the world's financial services industry. Working directly with its financial services customers, IBM helps them become more competitive through the innovative deployment of high-impact solutions. These solutions comprise the full range of IBM capabilities including consulting, software, hardware, research and services. More information is available at www.ibm.com/solutions/financialservices.

ALLTEL (NYSE:AT), with more than 10 million communications customers and more than $7 billion in annual revenues, is a leader in the communications and information services industries. ALLTEL has communications customers in 24 states and provides information services to telecommunications, financial and mortgage clients in 55 countries and territories. More information is available at www.alltel.com.

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The IBM e-business logo, zSeries, OS/390, and DB2 Universal Database are trademarks of IBM.

*The IBM eServer brand consists of the established IBM e-business logo with the descriptive term "server" following it.

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