IBM and Spector Sign Three-Year Outsourcing Contract

IBM Assists Spector in Strategic Expansion Project

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BRUSSELS, BELGIUM - 13 Feb 2006: Spector Photo Group NV has chosen IBM as its outsourcing partner for the Group's strategic digital expansion project. IBM will provide hosting for the Imaging Group's various websites (under the company's own brand names Spector, ExtraFilm, and Wistiti, and under licensed brands such as Kodak Images), as well as storage of digital images and the photography group's infrastructure for processing orders on-line 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

For a long time consumers have been able to visit the group's various European websites to print or process digital photos. Customers can upload and print digital photos over the internet, store them on-line in a free personal album, share them with friends and family, or use them to produce a digital postcard or gift. IBM now provides the infrastructure and hosting of these sites, storing the photos at the IBM data centers in Nossegem and Machelen (Belgium). For consumers, storing digital photos on one of the Imaging Group's websites is a safe way to archive them.

Digital photography is making rapid strides. Provisional estimates for 2005 suggest that the digital sector now accounts for 25% of all the jobs that Spector gets compared with 75% for analogue photography. It is expected that this ratio will have increased to half by the end of this year, and increase even further by 2007. Spector has also seen rapid increase in the mail-order segment: many customers prefer to have their digital photos delivered to their homes than to collect them from a retail outlet.

This market growth has led to Spector Imaging Group's investment in infrastructure. Dirk Schellinck, IT Manager of Spector's Imaging Group, explains: For Spector, Digital photography is the future. However, the rapid progress of digital photography requires that the IT infrastructure no longer be a supporting function but that it occupies a key role. Since Spector wants to concentrate on its core business -- printing photos -- we went looking for a reliable outsourcing-partner who could help us continue to improve our market position in digital photography at European level and who could offer us an on-demand solution for the entire infrastructure (servers and image storage, but also making the necessary internet capacity available). In IBM, Spector found a competent partner who could offer us a cost-effective custom solution for this project and could also assist us as a strategic partner in future projects at both local and European level.

Gerrit Liebens, SMB Executive, IBM Global Services Benelux, adds: "Spector keeps tens of millions of photos on-line and this number is constantly growing, requiring a flexible solution. Capacity should be able to evolve throughout the year with the seasonal nature of photography. IBM believes in 'storage on demand' and provides the flexibility Spector needs together with complete operational management of the solution." The three-year agreement may be extended to additional products at a later stage. The project goes live in March this year.

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