IBM Business Partner Conference Unleashes the Power of e-Business

Conference Showcases Innovative e-Business Products, Services and Initiatives To Take Business Partners into the Next Millennium

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NEW ORLEANS - 22 Feb 1999: ... More than 6,000 information technology industry leaders are expected to attend IBM's Business Partner Executive Conference (BPEC), the company's single largest event of the year. With the theme of "Unleashing the Power of e-business," the conference offers a look at an exciting array of products, services and marketing strategies that will enable IBM Business Partners around the world to capitalize on the rapidly growing e-business market.

A combination business meeting, trade show and educational seminar, BPEC '99 includes announcements, demonstrations and business sessions from both IBM and its Business Partners. Speakers include IBM Chairman and CEO Louis V. Gerstner, Jr. and Dr. Nicholas Negroponte from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) Media Laboratory. The conference opened today and runs through February 24 at the Ernest N. Morial Convention Center in New Orleans.

Tapping a $600 Billion Market
IBM projects that by the year 2002, $600 billion of total IT expenditures will be e-business related. According to International Data Corporation, e-commerce, a subset of e-business that encompasses the sale of goods and services over the Internet, will reach nearly $95 billion within the next 12 months. This offers tremendous opportunity for IBM and its Business Partners.

This year's BPEC introduces an "e-mall" as the centerpiece of the Solution Center, a trade show of IBM and Business Partner products and services. The e-mall will feature leading IBM Business Partners and customers displaying and selling their products via the Internet or showcasing e-business applications. Exhibitors include the New York Stock Exchange, Air Canada, Borders Books, TV's Davey Crockett turned wine maker Fess Parker, and former Charlie's Angel turned children's bookseller Cheryl Ladd, to name a few.

In addition to the e-mall, the Solution Center offers 500 product and service demonstrations arranged in four "villages." The Solution Center villages feature key elements of e-business offerings from IBM and its Business Partners -- e-business programs, e-business people, e-business tools and e-business solutions.

"Partnership is the model for the IT business in the new millennium," said Buell Duncan, general manager, IBM Global Business Partners. "It's the basis for IBM's determination to be a 21st century organization -- an organization committed to its Business Partners, to e-business, and to fully satisfying the needs and expectations of our customers."

Among IBM's planned announcements to drive this agenda are a services delivery strategy to link IBM and Business Partners, and e-business tools from IBM Global Financing. The IBM Software Group will announce updates and new additions to its extensive line of software suites, and its Business Intelligence unit will unveil a first-ever relationship marketing program for the finance industry. IBM Networking Hardware will detail new switches to enhance connectivity.

General Sessions Set Conference Agenda
Three general sessions will be held on Monday and Tuesday. IBM Chairman and CEO Gerstner will open the conference. He will speak to the key issues in the exploding world of e-business and IBM's strategic direction in this evolving market. Other IBM keynote speakers include:

Management Excellence Series Adds Perspective
BPEC'99 continues the conference tradition of offering sessions from respected, internationally known speakers covering topics such as business and management skills, leadership and personal development. This year's faculty includes:

The mission of IBM's Global Business Partners organization is to develop the most effective and efficient distribution capabilities for IBM and its Business Partners, driving profitability and revenue growth for both. In addition, the organization provides communications leadership and direction to create awareness of IBM's Business Partner programs and ensure consistency of channel messages companywide. Today, IBM has more than 45,000 Business Partners worldwide. In 1998, indirect channels generated nearly 40 percent of its corporate revenue. Visit for more information on IBM Business Partner programs.

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Editor's Note: All IBM products and program names are trademarks or registered trademarks of International Business Machines Corporation. All other company names and product names are trademarks or registered trademarks of their respective companies.

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