IBM Expands Application Hosting Services for Small and Medium Business

New Applications Virtually Manage Core Business Functions

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PC EXPO, NEW YORK - 22 Jun 1999: -- IBM today announced a series of new hosted business applications, significantly expanding its effort to deliver secure, scaleable solutions that help small and medium businesses build a foundation for e-business.

IBM Global Services today announced it has forged partnerships with three companies -- Great Plains, SalesLogix and Ultimate Software -- combining leading software applications with IBM hosting services to provide comprehensive, remote management of day-to-day business functions. In addition, IBM Global Services has announced relationships with Fidelity Leasing, Inc. and First Sierra Financial, Inc. to provide customers with leasing and financing solutions to acquire the hosted services.

Delivered and maintained by IBM Global Services, the offerings provide customers with real-time access to critical business information, including accounting, human resource and sales automation -- all delivered via the Internet. These solutions help customers reduce total IT costs and provide access to continually updated technology.

"Web hosting services provide our customers with simplified, worry-free computing," said Kathy Dodsworth-Rugani, director, Hosted Applications, IBM Global Services. "This solution offers reduced cost of ownership, a single point of contact and gives customers the freedom to focus on their everyday business operations."

Great Plains, Inc.
Responding to market demand, IBM Global Services and Great Plains have enhanced their existing accounting/hosting solution to include new pricing alternatives and a broader range of hosting configurations, enabling a higher number of concurrent users. This solution is designed to help small and medium businesses expand financial systems to a more robust platform, without investing initial capital or building traditional LAN implementations.

The new pricing models, now available to customers, are as follows:

The new hosting models will accommodate from one to 100 concurrent accounting users and can be implemented in either the client site or the IBM hosted site. The original hosting models were limited to four to 15 concurrent accounting users.

IBM Global Services and SalesLogix have teamed to offer small and medium businesses a cost-effective, reliable solution for implementing Customer Relationship Management applications, including sales configuration, marketing, commerce and support applications. The offering provides consolidated database, network and telecommunications applications into hosting sites to support multiple customers.

Also available are additional subscription services such as industry solutions, e-business hosting, regular backups, automated product, system and database management services.

Customers will receive the following benefits:

Ultimate Software
IBM Global Services and Ultimate Software have partnered to develop a new application hosting model for Ultimate Software's UltiPro HRMS/Payroll, a client/server human resources application. The solution will provide small and medium businesses with real-time access to all of their employee data, Web-access for managers and employees and business intelligence tools for executive decision-making.
In addition, users will have full access to comprehensive HRMS/payroll functions, including benefits administration, payroll processing, position management, training management and Flexible Spending Account (FSA) claims administration. These tools provide all employees online access to key business statistics and data on employee metrics and ratios.

Financing Offerings
IBM Global Services has separately teamed with Fidelity Leasing, Inc. and First Sierra Financial, Inc. to provide customers of the Web hosted services with financing solutions. Fidelity Leasing, under IBM's SuccessLease TM program, and First Sierra, under the Leasing OnLine program will provide customers with leasing and financing solutions for hardware, software and recurring services acquired from IBM, included in one monthly invoice. Both Fidelity Leasing and First Sierra are responsible for decisioning customer credit, obtaining the signed financing document and collecting payment on behalf of IBM Global Services. The solution is available for a monthly fee over a fixed period of time.

Fidelity Leasing is a leading provider of equipment financing to the small business sector. Fidelity can complete a financing transaction within minutes of an Internet submitted request from the customer or the equipment business partner. Fidelity is currently offering financing to small business customers who wish to equip their own company with an IBM e-commerce system. Fidelity Leasing is an approved provider of financing for IBM Global Financing and administers SuccessLeaseTM, IBM's premier small business IT financing program available in the US and Canada. Fidelity is headquartered in West Chester, PA and maintains regional offices throughout North America.

First Sierra Financial, Inc. is IBM's newest e-commerce financing partner for their Web hosted services offerings. Utilizing First Sierra's single-platform scaleable architecture and the expertise of their Technology Group, First Sierra will offer financing through their proprietary Leasing OnLine program. This technology will allow a choice of financing providers, credit approval within minutes, and tracking and reporting on-line. IBM's decision to expand the breadth of their e-commerce finance offerings will provide one of the critical foundations for IBM's expansion in the e-commerce arena. First Sierra, headquartered in Houston, TX, is a leading provider of Internet financing and small business services. First Sierra provides direct and online financing products, servicing, consulting and technology solutions for approximately 60,000 commercial customers.

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