University of Nebraska to Become a Worldwide Hub for Advanced Training and Research for IBM On Demand Systems

Expanded Relationship Between UNL and IBM Is Designed to Generate Joint Research and Training on the IBM System i5 Platform; More Than 250 Universities Offer System i5 Education

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LINCOLN, NE - 22 Feb 2006: Today IBM and the University of Nebraska-Lincoln announced extensive plans to foster new collaboration and innovation among the academic community, IBM and its partners and customers. The University will serve as a worldwide hub for advanced teaching and remote access by other universities on IBM's premier "all-in-one" business computing system, the System i5.

The collaboration between UNL and IBM is designed to produce joint research on the next level of IBM's on demand strategy and case studies to support analysis and resolution of real world business challenges. Working with IBM, a team of UNL professors will design new curricula in the College of Business Administration for Management Information Systems (MIS) courses on topics such as "driving business innovation through IT simplification" and "managing higher system utilization." These teaching modules may be used by IBM's greater Academic Initiative community.

"The University recognizes that to offer an innovative MIS program that continues to attract the best and brightest leadership and student talent, we need to collaborate closely with our business community to provide greater resources and research opportunities," said Harvey Perlman, Chancellor of the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. "We are excited to introduce a broader array of tools and skills for our students and faculty in collaboration with business partners including IBM."

To support the program, the University will create a System i5 lab for its students and faculty. Other universities will be able to access this hub remotely in support of their Academic Initiative program. IBM will provide a System i5 and other computer equipment to the University as well as systems maintenance and training.

"IBM's expanded relationship with the University of Nebraska will serve as a model to the hundreds of colleges and universities worldwide that offer educational resources on the System i family," said Mark Shearer, general manager, IBM System i, at a ceremony at the University today. "This relationship will connect IBM's technical community with leaders in academia to develop solutions that help fuel business innovation."

IBM experts will work with UNL professors to provide guest lecturers from the business world for seminars and workshops. Project teams will offer hands-on opportunities to students to work on practical applications. As part of the UNL collaboration, an initial student project kicked off this month to develop an interactive virtual community for the System i's community of business users and IT professionals. The project aims to attract the next generation of developers into the System i community by tapping tools such as online personas or "avatars" and a 3D landscape.

Tom Cypher, President & CEO of Information Technology, Inc., a Lincoln-based banking software and services provider, is encouraged by the University's collaboration with IBM. "Our company and our clients have a growing need for people with System i skills and experience," he explained. "We look forward to working with IBM and UNL to train the next generation of IBM System i talent through our involvement with students in various educational settings, including the nationally recognized JD Edwards Honors Program."

Dean Cynthia Milligan of UNL's College of Business Administration added, "Our collaboration with IBM will be another innovative program for educating our students as future leaders of organizations in the competitive global environment."

Expanding the IBM Academic Initiative

Today IBM also announces further investment and support in its Academic Initiative on the System i5 platform. IBM plans to increase the number of colleges and universities worldwide with advanced MIS and technology programs that include System i solutions in their curriculum. To date, more than 250 universities participate in the program.

"The System i community technical professionals are some of the industry's most talented and enthusiastic business and IT experts and have much experience to share with the recent students entering the workplace," said Shearer. "In this current environment, IBM recognizes the importance of bringing the business community together with academia to increase the level of System i5 education available to the next generation of experts."

The System i5 Academic Initiative provides students and professors with hands-on access to the System i5 platform, curriculum, industry experts, and training for students and faculty. The goal is for students to develop practical business and IT skills that enable them to find jobs upon graduation and to help businesses increase their access to System i expertise.

About the IBM System i5

The IBM System i5 platform is a tightly integrated system including hardware, middleware, storage and security. The System i5 platform can run i5/OS, Windows, Linux and AIX 5L operating environments simultaneously, simplifying their IT to enable more innovation in their business. (1) Business partners and solutions providers of all sizes drive System i5 platform success by building, selling and deploying over 6,400 of the world's most popular business applications for their clients on the System i5 platform.

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1 The System i5 platform can run Microsoft Windows via an integrated Intel-based server option.