IBM(R) Announces New Software, Systems

Helping Telecoms Leverage Service Oriented Architecture to Offer Next Generation Services More Easily and Affordably

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CHICAGO, IL - 05 Jun 2006: IBM today announced new middleware and hardware systems to help telecommunications carriers more quickly, easily and affordably create, deploy and manage new, revenue-generating, converged services combining voice, video and data over both fixed and mobile networks, leveraging a service oriented architecture (SOA).

IBM announced the IBM WebSphere® IP (Internet protocol) Multimedia Subsystem (IMS) Connector, IBM WebSphere Presence Server, and IBM WebSphere Telecom Web Services Server.

IBM is extending its WebSphere software portfolio to help enable a flexible, IMS-compliant services plane solution supporting the delivery of IP-based services and leveraging a SOA approach. This approach can help telecommunications service providers evolve previously siloed network infrastructure into reusable services that can easily interoperate using industry standards. These products build upon the latest release of IBM's WebSphere Application Server, which has deeply integrated SIP technology to deliver a truly converged HTTP/SIP service execution platform for next generation services.

IBM also is delivering enhancements to its Eclipse-based Rational® Unified Service Creation Environment with a new Rational Unified Process plug-in for IMS and associated converged HTTP/SIP application development tools to help enable the creation of converged services. Combined with Tivoli® Netcool service management capabilities gained from the February acquisition of Micromuse, IBM software can enable a breadth of capabilities spanning the creation, deployment and management of next generation services, helping operators achieve more flexible, responsive and cost-effective service delivery.

IBM also introduced today System x3650T, the latest in IBM's line of high-performance, carrier-grade, Intel-based systems designed to be optimized for the telecommunications environment. System x3650T is designed to support telecommunications applications such as VoIP, IMS, IPTV, telecom network infrastructure and gateways, and may also be deployed for virtually any mission critical application.

"IBM's goal with software, systems and services is to help our telecom clients provide the latest and best new services to their customers," said Tim Greisinger, director, communications sector, IBM Software Group. "With IBM's experience in service oriented architecture and IP technology deployment we can extend our core expertise to help service providers cut time to market with innovative new products."

Until now, carriers have been encumbered with inflexible silos supporting individual voice, video and data services that are not easily integrated and have traditionally taken 18 to 24 months to deploy. The proliferation of broadband communications and (IP) technology is creating new opportunities to leverage commercial off-the-shelf components to more quickly and cost-effectively deliver creative, multimedia-based communications services.

Emerging standards such as IP Multimedia Subsystem (IMS) framework and Session Initiation Protocol (SIP), combined with SOA principles, can enable service providers to leverage reusable components while separating the creation and execution of new applications from the underlying network to help more rapidly deliver revenue-generating converged services.

The new next generation service enablers announced today by IBM can provide reusable IP-based services building blocks with standard interfaces, allowing service providers to efficiently and quickly deliver rich new converged services to market. IBM's modular approach to the services plane can enable customers and partners to flexibly implement relevant components as-needed:

IBM WebSphere IMS Connector can enable applications running on WebSphere Application Server to communicate with IMS core elements like the Call/Session Control Function and Home Subscriber Servers, as well as billing systems.

IBM WebSphere Presence Server, including Group List Server, can deliver the ability to collect, manage and distribute real-time information about subscriber access, availability and willingness to communicate across applications and environments and to create and manage application-independent, network-stored groups.

IBM WebSphere Telecom Web Services Server delivers a security enhanced, standards-based gateway for third-party access to network capabilities like presence and call control.

Today IBM is actively engaged in interoperability testing with major network equipment provider (NEP) partners, including Huawei, Nokia and Nortel. IBM is also working with its telecom-related business partners on the interoperability of their offerings for enabling complete IMS solutions including IMS services plane, control plane elements and value-added services.

IBM outreach to business partners also includes current activities through the IBM Telecommunications PartnerWorld Industry Network -- now more than 1,200 strong -- to enable independent software vendor (ISV) and NEP applications on IBM's execution platform and to integrate their associated tooling with the Rational Unified Service Creation Environment.

"BayPackets is delighted to be part of IBM's IMS partner ecosystem as we deploy our IMS-compliant multimedia application built on IBM's WebSphere Application Server," said Ken Epps, CEO of BayPackets. "Service providers are looking for a way to quickly and easily bring new IMS applications to the market. By working with leading application vendors like BayPackets, IBM is providing cost- and time-effective solutions or deploying rich new services."

IBM launched a managed beta test of its IMS service enablers and will make the products generally available early in the third quarter, 2006. This builds upon IBM's extensive telecom industry experience -- boasting more than 90 percent of service providers worldwide as customers -- and complements IBM's hardware and services offerings as part of IBM's broader IMS services plane solutions.

These solutions, which include IBM partner content, already are being used to conduct proof-of-concepts in IBM's telecom solutions labs around the world. Embedded SIP capabilities in WebSphere Application Server Version 6.1 and associated converged HTTP/SIP tooling are available today; Rational and Tivoli solutions also are available today.

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