IBM Opens the Wireless Web for Business With Major Technology Initiatives and Partnerships

Teams with Cisco, Ericsson, Intel, Motorola, Nokia, Palm, Symbian and Others to Supply the Products and Services that will Bring e-business Applications to Wireless Devices

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PARIS - 13 Mar 2000: -- IBM today announced a series of major initiatives designed to make the wireless Web ready for e-business. These initiatives include key business partnerships and integrated products and services from IBM that will help both wireless providers and enterprises develop and deploy new mobile solutions for e-business. In addition, IBM announced new customers working with the company to pioneer breakthrough mobile e-business applications and services.

"We are at the beginning of a wireless revolution. In the next few years, more people will use wireless devices than PCs to access the Internet and do e-business," said Mike Lawrie, General Manager, IBM EMEA. "But certain things need to happen first: Key players from the wireless, IT and telecommunications industries need to join forces; an open application development environment needs to be created; and powerful, secure engines and network infrastructures to connect enterprise data with wireless devices need to be built. Today we are announcing important initiatives, together with major industry partners, in each of these key areas."

For wireless providers, IBM is working with Nokia, Motorola and Cisco, three of the leading providers of infrastructure for wireless networks, to provide the foundation for new wireless data services for businesses.

IBM and Nokia announced that they intend to cooperate in enabling network operators, ISPs and ASPs to deliver wireless e-business services to their enterprise customers. This initiative will involve the mutual exchange and collaboration on key application enabling technologies, such as Wireless Application Protocol (WAP) via the Nokia Artus Messaging Platform, Nokia developed location-based technologies, IBM servers, and voice recognition and transcoding technologies.

This represents a key breakthrough for network operators as they seek to offer enterprise customers a new solution to integrate a tidal wave of e-business data with a proliferation of wireless devices.

"By combining Nokia's knowledge of the network operator industry with IBM's enterprise capabilities, we hope to provide technologies that will, for the first time, enable the providers of wireless services to offer a powerful, scalable and secure solution to link a variety of devices with an enterprise's back-end data systems," said Ari Lehtoranta, vice president and general manager, Systems Integration, Nokia Networks.

IBM and Motorola announced their intent to create an open, highly scalable offering that would serve as a "voice and data engine" so that businesses can easily develop and access wireless application and services.

For example, carriers could use this offering to allow businesses to provide mobile workers real-time access to email, stock quotes, news and corporate resources via wireless devices. The companies plan to establish a joint solutions center to create a flexible framework based on a combination of technologies from both companies, including Mobile Internet Exchange (MIX)(a), VoxML(a) and WAP from Motorola with components of IBM's WebSphere Everyplace Suite, announced today, and services from IBM. The initial framework will be available in the second half of this year.

"Together, we can provide the broad mobile and computing technology base and systems integration skills that are needed for operators to succeed in this challenging business market," said Janiece Webb, senior vice president and general manager of Motorola's Personal Networks Group.

Cisco is working with IBM to develop the next generation of wireless networks for both enterprises and service providers. By combining Cisco's expertise in networking for the Internet with IBM's open platforms for wireless applications, Cisco and IBM will jointly address the growing demand for e-business solutions on the mobile Internet, through the provision of technologies based on a joint commitment to open standards.

"The real Internet economy will begin to take hold when the man in the street has direct 'always on' access through the mobile Internet. As an access method wireless will probably have the greatest growth in the near future, enabling the mobility of the user anytime/anywhere. We see great opportunity in both the enterprise and the consumer markets, which while based on the same technical platform, will require different applications," said Robert Lloyd, vice president Enterprise Line of Business, Cisco Systems EMEA.

Enabling the Solutions for Mobile e-business

IBM announced partnerships with Ericsson, Palm, Symbian and Intel to accelerate the development and deployment of solutions for mobile e-business on their industry-leading platforms.

IBM and Ericsson have agreed to work together to create wireless applications for Ericsson's advanced communicator class devices. IBM will work with Palm, Inc. as part of Palm's Global Alliance Program and will focus on deploying enterprise applications based on the Palm platform to IBM's customers. IBM Global Services' wireless experts will support this effort. IBM also announced with Symbian that the companies plan to open a joint development center in Yamato, Japan, to work on integration of IBM's enterprise software with the Symbian platform to deliver more robust and secure connectivity to enterprise applications through wireless networks.

IBM and Intel announced that they are working together to further the development of wireless internet technology. In a first step, IBM has provided services and hardware to Intel's wireless center.

"Intel and IBM are working together to help speed the development and deployment of Internet wireless technology. Both companies believe that in order to deliver end-to-end wireless solutions for the Web, industry leaders must collaborate," commented Leif Persson, director of the Intel Wireless Competence Center in Europe.

IBM Products and Services for Delivering Solutions for Mobile e-business

In addition to these partnerships, IBM today announced WebSphere Everyplace Suite. This is a new server software that combines in one offering the necessary "software ingredients" required to easily develop, manage and deliver applications to a variety of devices, including wireless handsets, PDAs and other Internet appliances, such as the one recently announced by IBM's Personal Systems Group.

For example, it features IBM's WebSphere Transcoding Publisher software that automatically translates data into a format for the device to which data is being sent, and Tivoli's Subscription Manager that lets businesses easily track and manage devices. It also has robust data synchronization capabilities to keep data current across multiple devices and Wireless Application Protocol functionality for wireless Web access. No other vendor offers all these functions in one simple, scalable solution.

In addition, IBM announced it has developed industry-specific capabilities to provide quick-start engagements. Using components of the WebSphere Everyplace Suite and IBM Global Services expertise, these quick-start engagement capabilities are available today for the Finance, Retail and Travel industries. They are also available in cross-industry application areas, including Personal Productivity (email, calendaring, messaging), Customer Relationship Management (CRM) and Enterprise Resource Management (ERP).

IBM WebSphere Everyplace Suite is available immediately on a special bid basis and will be generally available in the second half of this year on Unix platforms (AIX version 4.3.3 and Solaris version 7). Exact pricing has not been set.

It is the technology components from WebSphere Everyplace Suite, together with strong services expertise, that IBM brings to the partnerships it announced today.

Deploying Solutions for Mobile e-business

The WebSphere Everyplace Suite is also at the heart of the more than 200 customers IBM has already helped extend e-business to a new generation of mobile devices. The company today announced a series of new customer engagements including: Bank of Scotland to help it deliver on-line banking services to wireless devices, BT Cellnet to offer new wireless data services and Avenir Telecom, the French mobile phone distributor, to help extend its Net-Up Internet Service Provider role to support WAP devices. Partnering with Lotus, IBM announced an agreement with Telenor Mobil to support Lotus Domino-based Mobile Intranet applications.

The company also announced that it has been chosen as the primary technology and services provider for a $1 billion project to create the world's first living laboratory for the Wireless Internet. Teaming with Sonera, Nokia, Symbian and Digia, IBM intends to provide hardware, software and services to support the delivery of integrated services, such as movies-on-demand, online recruitment and even a virtual chapel all delivered over high speed 3G wireless networks.

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