IBM Japan and Softbank Commerce to Form Partnership in e-Business Consulting Services

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Japan - 01 Mar 2000: -- Softbank Commerce Corp. (head office: Chuo-ku, Tokyo; president: Ken Miyauchi), a wholly owned subsidiary of Softbank Corporation, and IBM Japan, Ltd. (head office: Minato-ku, Tokyo; president: Takuma Otoshi) announced that they will tie-up in the field of e-business consulting services.

The dramatic spread of Internet usage, has created an urgent need among businesses to fully utilize related technologies as they move into e-commerce and related fields. To take advantage of the Internet in business, companies must combine its use with their core business and create strategic business models not offered by competitors and Information Technology (IT) solutions to implement them. Among the many items that must be considered are stable system operation, expandability for periods of high traffic, and security.

The IBM Japan-Softbank partnership will take advantage of Softbank Commerce's ample experience in e-commerce related businesses and IBM Japan's proven record of achievement in e-business system integration. IBM Japan's planned "Innovation Center for e-business," will be another important factor in the joint services that will provide clients with optimum business models and IT solution designs in a short period of time. The two companies also plan to handle customers' inquiries on a joint Internet website.

As part of their consulting services, the partners will provide comprehensive assistance with e-business planning and operations. This will include not only providing clients with initial-stage consultation services but also helping them find alliance partners-software developers and system integrators engaged in system building utilizing the latest IT solutions and in outsourcing and application service provider (ASP) businesses.

The tie-up arrangement calls for Softbank Commerce to establish an e-business division, staffed by about 20 personnel-mainly business and IT consultants-for the first year of operations which will begin April 1. The division will start up the business and find corporate clients.

Main services will include:

- Designing of business models
- IT solution designs
- Implementation
- Management seminars
- Training services

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