Analyst Firm Names IBM Industry Leader in Partner Programs for Second Straight Year

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ARMONK, NY - 12 Dec 2006: Analyst firm IDC has named IBM (NYSE: IBM) an industry leader for independent software vendor (ISV) programs across the areas of marketing, technical, and sales support. The independent report acknowledges IBM's efforts to build a strong partner community and its ongoing investment to develop these programs.

IDC's "Worldwide Top 10 ISV Partner Programs 2006 Vendor Analysis: Enabling ISV Partners for Success" (#204272, Nov 2006) analyzed the offerings of the industry's leading ISV partner programs across three areas that are most important to ISVs -- marketing, technical, and sales support. From this analysis, the report found that IBM achieved the highest overall score, followed by Microsoft, SAP, Oracle and HP. According to the report, "This is a reflection of the breadth of IBM's offerings for ISVs across the categories and subcategories that are most important to ISVs." IBM also received a high score in three subcategories: marketing tools, technical tools, and product certification.

IBM, with its worldwide network of business partners, venture capital firms, developers, universities, sales experts, research labs and innovation centers, provides partners with a foundation it can tap into as they look to increase revenue by embracing open standards and expanding beyond their existing geographic and vertical markets. One major differentiator is IBM's unique ability to use its existing global network of business partners and sales experts to enable ISVs to jointly identify and close new business opportunities, regardless of the clients' location.

"ISV partner programs play an increasingly important role to help technology vendors expand market share and increase customer value," said Stephen Graham, Group Vice President, IDC. "IBM is widely regarded for its ISV partner programs, and the IDC assessment re-affirms the company's industry position."

"By joining IBM's ecosystem, our partners gain access to an elite pool of research, technical, marketing and sales resources to help them deliver powerful solutions built on open technologies," said Steve Mills, senior vice president, IBM Software Group. "By tightly linking our ISVs into IBM's global network of business partners, sales experts and research and development know-how, we've proven we can jointly deliver higher-value solutions to our clients."

Highlights include:

ISVs around the world are supportive of the IDC report:

"IBM provides a good platform that's well-integrated and standards-based," said Harry Debes, president and CEO, Lawson Software. "That helps us simplify our solution and offer industry-leading total cost of ownership."

"CommercialWare values the quality and commitment our partnership with IBM brings to our customers," said Laura Naylor, vice president, Marketing & Business Development, CommercialWare. "The unmatched benefits and support we receive through IBM PartnerWorld are a big advantage for a growing independent software vendor like us. By leveraging IBM's sales and marketing initiatives, CommercialWare is able to keep our customers at the leading edge of technology, enabling them to remain competitive in the fast-changing world of retail."

The IDC report caps off a landmark year for IBM's ISV and Developer Relations organization. In addition to IDC naming IBM an industry leader in partner programs for the second straight year, IBM compiled the following achievements:

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