Kika/Leiner Signs IT Outsourcing Agreement With IBM in Austria

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VIENNA, AUSTRIA - 30 Jul 2008: IBM (NYSE: IBM) and kika/Leiner Group today announced that the furniture retailer has signed an agreement for the global support of its information technology (IT) infrastructure with IBM in Austria. The contract will run for 5 years until 2013.

To allow kika/Leiner to further expand in Eastern Europe and the Middle East, IBM will provide the following:

The kika/Leiner Group has been growing rapidly in Central and Eastern Europe. Today, there are locations in Slovakia, the Czech Republic, Croatia and Hungary and the number of locations is still increasing. In 2008, kika/Leiner has plans to open kika stores in Bucharest, Romania, Serbia and in Moscow, Russia. In 2007, kika opened stores in Saudi Arabia, through franchising agreements, and has plans to also expand its presence even further.

In order to keep the IT growing in line with the quick international expansion, kika/Leiner chose IBM Austria to support its IT-infrastructure. A key element for IBM winning this deal was its flexibility and global presence, as Paul Koch, CEO of kika/Leiner Group, points out, "In all of our international locations, we require availability and security to be guaranteed. This can be provided by IBM, whose international expertise is very valuable for us."

Kika/Leiner's centralized data center is headquartered in St. Pölten and supplies all its locations with IT services. These locations work with Thin Clients, which are connected to the data center through a secure network. IBM supports and manages the servers in St. Pölten, ensures the network connections globally by partnering with the Austrian telecommunications company Telekom Austria, keeps LAN and WAN up-to-date and runs their security applications. In addition, the IBM helpdesk provides kika/Leiner employees, in all its country locations, with daily support.

The centralized datacenter concept helps kika/Leiner to quickly implement in new locations. To set up the IT and support in new stores and countries, IBM will establish the network connection and link it with the datacenter in St.Pölten.

The IT outsourcing agreement was signed in July of 2008.

In May of 2008, kika/Leiner opened its new data center in St. Pölten, one of the first green data centers in Austria. This data center was also developed and built by IBM and reduces the energy use by up to 40 percent.

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