IBM and Hall-Mark Unite for ASP Marketshare

Strategic Alliance, and "e-nable" Initiative Targets Emerging Market--Offering Resources to Make Fast Transition to ASP a Reality

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London - 27 Apr 2000: -- Hall-Mark Global Solutions (HMGS) and IBM have announced a strategic alliance and a new initiative to deliver tangible resources to new customers in the "Net Generation" marketplace. A dedicated team will promote the use and integration of IBM products and solutions to emerging Application service Providers (ASP) to help them maximise their return on the new market opportunities, as well as help existing IBM Business Partners make the transition to an ASP model.

From its Bracknell, UK headquarters, HMGS has announced a new initiative, e-nable, comprising a dedicated IBM e-business Net Generation Practice to provide IBM e-business products, services and solutions to the new generation of companies whose businesses are based on the Internet. HMGS will leverage UK investment and experience to build similar practices elsewhere in Europe over time.

HMGS offerings designed to help the emerging ASP include; Linux, an operating environment which works on any hardware platform, giving customers the flexibility to adapt technology to their business, rather than having to change their business to fit technology. This makes it the ideal platform for innovative "next generation ISP/ASP applications. In addition, HMGS offers IBM WebSphere, a high performance product for current and future application deployment, and Lotus Domino, an integrated messaging and Web application software platform for growing companies that need to improve customer responsiveness and streamline business processes. In terms of servers, HMGS offers comprehensive solutions, such as, the IBM WebServer (UNIX) offerings and the IBM 'Shark' storage solution, which are designed to help customers manage information and transactions efficiently across increasingly complex, multivendor networks.

HMGS-commissioned research has identified around 400 emerging ASPs who would benefit from their e-nable programme which includes consultancy, customer support, pre-sales support and credit facilities. Emerging ASPs, and IBM resellers making the transition to become an ASP, will receive partnering services between software and hardware accounts, technical support, centralised logistics, marketing support, in-house education and training. All designed to facilitate a fast transition to ASP status.

IBM is supporting Hall-Mark Global Solutions with joint business planning, marketing and communication initiatives, training programmes and technical support. As an IBM Distributor, Hall-Mark also benefits from sales and marketing support, incentives, education, loan equipment and technical support through PartnerWorld, IBM's Business Partner programme.

Vice President of IBM Business Partners EMEA, Giuseppe Giuliani, commented: "We are well into the new era of technology brought on by the Internet. There is a new type of IT solution provider - the ASP, ISP, ISV and Web Integrator etc - who are shifting the needs of customers. IBM is strongly focused on supporting these 'new' type of channel partners and our initiative with HMGS, one of our largest Partners, is the first step in how we are addressing this customer demand".

Ken Moss, Executive Vice President, HMGS, EMEA, said: "We are focusing on delivering IBM's best-of-breed products to the ASP marketplace. Hall-Mark is set to become the leading Value Added Distributor of IBM solutions for the ASP market. The agreement with IBM will help us achieve this status and ensure we become the partner of choice for the customer. We're striving to achieve a year on year revenue growth in the ASP space of 100% over the first three years."

The programme begins this month. Gary Woodward, managing director of new ASP Pasporte, one of the first to sign up for the programme, commented: "Entering the ASP market is an exciting and challenging move - we've taken the decision to take that step ahead of the competition. Together IBM and Hall-Mark have the expertise and resources that we need to establish our new business, and they have played a critical role in our formulative period. We know we have to act fast - and e-nable means we can focus on making a difference in the ASP space."

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Editors Notes:

About Hall-Mark Global Solutions

Headquartered in Tempe, Arizona, Hall-Mark Global Solutions is an industry leading, value-added distributor of enterprise computing systems, software and services, marketing exclusively to the reseller channel. With locations in North America, Austria, Australia, Czech Republic, France, Germany, Hungary, Italy, Poland, Switzerland and the United Kingdom, Hall-Mark Global Solutions is a division of the $1.5 billion Computer Marketing Group of Avnet, Inc, a global distributor of electronic components and computer products and services from leading manufacturers. Avnet's sales for fiscal 1999 (year ended June 30) were $6.4 billion ($10 billion pro forma, with recent acquisitions). For more information about Hall-Mark, please visit its Web site at:

About IBM

IBM is a global leader in the development and implementation of e-business solutions in strategic areas such as customer relationship management, supply chain management, enterprise resource planning, product design and management and e-commerce. For further information regarding IBM e-business, visit

IBM Business Partners

IBM EMEA currently works with 30,000 Business Partners. IBM PartnerWorld is a marketing and enablement program designed to extend revenue opportunities for all IBM Business Partners around hardware, software, services and finance offerings in support of IBM's e-business strategy. PartnerWorld delivers a common framework that makes it simpler and easier for Business Partners to do business with IBM, and other Business Partners, while providing a wide variety of choices to lower the cost of solution implementation, shorten time to market and improve customer satisfaction. The program rewards partners who drive IBM solutions into the marketplace. For more information, visit:

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