Ford and IBM Sign Strategic Services Agreement

To open two Accelerated Solutions Centers in Europe

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London, ENGLAND - 14 Dec 1999: .. Ford and IBM have today announced a multi million dollar strategic services agreement over five years. The agreement involves the creation of purpose-designed Accelerated Solutions Centers (ASCs) in Essex, in the UK and in Cologne, Germany which will support Ford's business across Europe.

Mirroring the success of the Ford/IBM ASC partnership launched in the US in January 1999, the two centers for Europe, will marry Ford's industry expertise and technical knowledge with IBM's advanced technical and e-business knowledge, applications development and project management skills. IBM will be operationally responsible for the success of the centers. Currently both centers are in set-up mode with around 20 staff but when fully operational by late next year, each center will have around 120 staff, half of whom will be skilled specialists from IBM and half expert Ford developers. It is expected that the new centers will be able to run 16 development projects concurrently in each location which will lead to around 100 new applications a year across Europe.

Frank Kern, general manager, Professional Services, IBM Global Services EMEA (Europe, Middle East & Africa) said; "We have conclusively proven the business benefits of IBM's Applications Management Services in our work with Ford in the US. Since Ford commissioned us to partner with them on its first ASC in the US earlier this year, our joint Ford /IBM teams have already successfully completed over 100 challenging projects. In addition, these projects are all well on the way to achieving the target of 50% time-savings and 30% in cost-savings over the traditional development model within Ford. We are targeting to achieve similar success in Europe."

The European ASCs will bring the competitive advantages of this new development methodology to Europe. IBM was selected because of its proven Accelerated Solutions approach and because of its leading position in terms of leveraging e-business. This is expected to lead to further benefits because a high percentage of development work will use latest technologies based around the internet and e-business applications. Ford plan to utilise a range of different technologies and initially these will be primarily based around the Microsoft and Oracle Development Suites.

The ASC methodology uses a number of accelerators to achieve the stated benefits, for example:

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About Ford
Ford Motor Company is the world's second largest auto maker, with more than 370,000 employees in 200 markets on six continents. Its automotive brands include Aston Martin, Ford, Jaguar, Lincoln, Mazda, Mercury and Volvo. Its automotive-related services include Ford Credit, Quality Care, Hertz and Visteon Automotive Systems.

About IBM Global Services
IBM Global Services is the world's largest information technology services provider, with 1998 revenues of approximately $29 billion. Services are the fastest growing part of IBM, with more than 136,000 professionals serving customers in 160 countries. IBM Global Services integrates IBM's broad range of capabilities - services, hardware, software and research - to help companies of all sizes realise the full value of information technology. For more information visit
For more information about IBM e-business, visit the IBM web page on the world wide web at

The IBM Global Automotive Industry Division In the past decade IBM has evolved from an IT supplier to a partner of the Automotive Industry, offering solutions, IT infrastructure, integration and outsourcing services that span the entire automotive value chain. The IBM approach follows the industry-standards and capitalises on open architecture and multiplatform technology. IBM helps the automotive industry to translate the e-business paradigm into leadership positions. Dedicated experts are specialised in various automotive industry practices. IBM holds a substantial market share in automotive.

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