Leading Cable Network Provider in Germany Chooses IBM for Next Generation of Service Quality


ARMONK, NY - 20 Oct 2006: IBM (NYSE: IBM) today announced one of the largest cable networks in Europe is using IBM Tivoli Netcool software to further prevent network downtime and simplify network operations management. The Unity Media GmbH network is using Tivoli Netcool software to help operators easily pinpoint and prioritize network problems before they affect service delivery. Such real-time problem detection can help avoid poor cable reception, dropped calls and sluggish response time when accessing websites.

The Unity Media network, which serves more than five million customers in Germany, is using the software for "next generation" monitoring of the quality of its cable and digital television, high-speed Internet and telephone services. The software helps prevent network problems, such as router failure, and helps network operators respond more quickly to potential outages that could impact service delivery. This has led to reduced customer support costs, the ability to manage a greater number of services with existing staff and increased customer satisfaction.

Tivoli Netcool software, which is based on technology acquired from Micromuse, provides network operators with a birds-eye view of the infrastructure so they can pinpoint how an event might potentially cause problems that can impact the business, such as whether it will affect customers and the locations involved. The software also helps customer service agents, who can provide customers with real-time service status.

"With Tivoli Netcool software, we can locate potential problems before they affect service delivery," says Frank Goebel, manager of the Unity Media Network Operations Center. "Our users are satisfied with the tool and we have had no downtime to date. And, we can roll out new services to gain competitive advantage, managing them with the same headcount."

The software reduces the time spent by network operators to manually interpret and review network events from hours to minutes. It automatically combines multiple alerts into one high-priority event, reducing the flood of the alerts while ensuring events are prioritized correctly.

"IBM software provides companies with a bridge for managing across the network, operations and the service delivery path, linking IT to actual service delivery -- a key factor in service management," said Lloyd Carney, General Manager of Netcool, IBM Tivoli. "This enables network operators to understand the potential impact of events so they can assure that the end user experience is rewarding."

Working with IBM Business Partner OpenAdvice IT Services GmbH, Unity defined relevant business policies and event information so the Tivoli Netcool software automatically solves specific problems based on the policies. This further reduces problem resolution times and alleviates administrative work.

Tivoli Netcool software is used by banks, communications providers, governments, retailers and other organizations worldwide to monitor and manage their sophisticated technology infrastructures. The combination of Tivoli Netcool and IBM's service management technology provide customers with a comprehensive approach for reducing the complexity of their network environments, lowering operational costs and addressing compliance.

The IBM software included in this project are Netcool®/Impact™, Netcool®/Webtop™, and Netcool®/OMNIbus™.

About Unity Media

Unity Media is headquartered in Cologne and is the parent company of the cable network operator iesy in Hesse, the cable network operator ish in North Rhine-Westphalia, the network level 4 (in-house networks) operator Tele Columbus, and Arena Sport Rechte und Marketing GmbH. iesy and ish are the largest providers of cable television in their respective states. In addition to analogue cable television and radio services, iesy and ish also offer digital television, high speed Internet and telephony to be the provider of choice for entertainment and multimedia services into the home. As of 30 June 2006, iesy and ish had approximately 5.1 million basic cable subscribers, 207,800 digital TV RGU's, 60,200 high speed Internet RGU's, and 29,100 telephony RGU's. Tele Columbus is the largest network level 4 operator in Germany with approximately 2.6 million basic cable subscribers, 71,800 digital TV RGU's, 30,100 high speed Internet RGU's and 1,700 Telephony RGU's on 30 June 2006.

Through arena, Unity Media has acquired certain Bundesliga programming rights for three seasons starting with the 2006/2007 season. Since the start of the 2006/2007 season, arena is broadcasting live all matches of the Bundesliga and 2. Bundesliga live via satellite and cable in Germany.

More information on Unity Media can be found at http://www.unitymedia.de.

About IBM

For more information about Tivoli Netcool software, visit http://www-306.ibm.com/software/tivoli/welcome/micromuse/.

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