With New IBM iSeries System, Trans World Entertainment Streamlines Operations, Cuts Costs in Time for Holiday Shopping Rush

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ARMONK, NY - 05 Dec 2005: Today IBM announces that retail giant Trans World Entertainment has reported that it significantly reduced IT leasing and maintenance costs by implementing an IBM iSeries system and consolidating three datacenters into one. A single iSeries system replaced multiple servers, including a Sun Microsystems server.

A specialty retailer of music, video and gaming products, Trans World Entertainment operates over 800 retail locations in North America with leading brands such as Coconuts Music and Movies, f.y.e. and Wherehouse.

With guidance from IBM Premier Business Partner, Strategic Computer Solutions, Inc., Trans World simplified its IT environment by consolidating its critical daily operations -- supply chain, finance, merchandising, human resources -- onto a single iSeries system that can run four different operating environments simultaneously. Since the implementation, Trans World estimates it has reduced backup time from eight hours to less than three, enabling its 8,500 employees to work with fewer interruptions and increasing employee productivity by making the system available an extra 12 to 14 hours a week.

To provide better customer service, Trans World Entertainment also integrated its business applications onto the iSeries with point-of-sale devices allowing retail store employees to post updated corrections to their store inventories. Before the integration, employees had to email headquarters with required adjustments and those entries were manually entered into the system. Now, via a browser, employees can access an i5/OS-based application to quickly enter an inventory adjustment and view the status of previously entered adjustments saving valuable time for both the employee and customer.

"With the iSeries system, Trans World delivers more-up-to-date data in a third of the time, which is critical to a successful holiday season for a retailer. Timely and accurate information is key to identifying trends or changes in the market and allowing us to respond to our customers' needs," said John Hinkle, CIO, Trans World Entertainment. "The scalability of the new system will allow us to grow our business. We know the iSeries can handle future expansions or seasonal spikes in business."

The new IBM iSeries i570 POWER5-based system is virtualized to run six separate and very secure operating environments. The iSeries dynamically allocates resources between i5/OS-based applications including Manhattan Associates and Island Pacific software, and an AIX 5L environment running an Oracle data warehouse. The iSeries combines storage, software, server and security in an "all in one" system.

"The iSeries server delivers a simplified system to our customers -- no matter the size of the enterprise. Trans World's simplification project has enabled them to focus on creating value for its customers, rather than maintaining a costly and extensive IT environment," said Mark Shearer, general manager, IBM iSeries. "Also, the strong relationship between SCS and Trans World exemplifies an objective of our partner program, the iSeries Initiative for Innovation."

Trans World is exploring a number of innovative technologies on the new iSeries system including a WebSphere-based portal for its employees, replacing ten Compaq servers with IBM Integrated xSeries servers, and migrating additional daily operations to IBM's premiere midrange system. "It seems our possibilities with the iSeries server are endless. The system delivers a number of reliable solutions to our company," commented Hinkle.

About Strategic Computer Solutions, Inc.
Strategic Computer Solutions is an IBM Premier and On Demand Business Partner headquartered in Syracuse, NY, serving more than 1,500 customers throughout the Northeast, Mid-Atlantic and Ohio. Founded in 1977, the company holds more than 230 certifications, including IBM eServers, Storage and Software. SCS provides Business Consulting, eCommerce Applications, Security and Professional Consulting Services, working with an extensive software partner network. For more information about SCS, visit http://www.scsinet.com or call 888-667-4SCS.

About the IBM eServer iSeries
The IBM iSeries system is a tightly integrated system including hardware, middleware, storage and security. iSeries systems can run i5/OS, Windows (via an IXA or IXS), Linux and AIX operating environments simultaneously so clients can reinvest those savings to grow their business. Business partners and solutions providers of all sizes drive iSeries server success by building, selling and deploying over 6,400 of the world's most popular business applications for their clients on the iSeries platform.