E-business Tour Lands in North America

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New York - 13 May 1998: -IBM and Lotus Development Corporation will host an all-day forum May 19 in New York City for corporate leaders, business owners and entrepreneurs on how to make money by doing business on the Internet.

The New York forum, part of a 43-city worldwide electronic business tour, will feature global businesses, like Domino's Pizza. Domino's is using its new corporate intranet to streamline business processes and improve communication among franchises around the world. Also featured will be New York businesses, like kozmo.com. Named after the popular character on the Seinfeld show, kozmo.com offers online video rentals. Manhattan residents can order a video online; kozmo.com delivers the video, along with snacks, to home or office within the hour.

At the forum, scheduled for the Hilton Towers Hotel in Manhattan, business owners and corporate leaders can learn how to streamline their business processes, gain new customers and save money by doing business on the Internet. The e-business forum will feature presentations, hands-on technology demonstrations and one-on-one consultations.

The Manhattan e-business forum is part of a tour that began April 8 in Marseilles, France, and ends on July 16 in Auckland, New Zealand(a). IBM and Lotus executives, business partners and customers will share what they have learned about e-business after two years of intensive development and implementation.

Participants will learn how e-business can shrink supply chains, streamline information flow and greatly expand a company's reach by substantially cutting the cost of customer service, retention and marketing. For example, the cost of one bank transaction via the Internet is 13 cents vs. $1.08 at a branch. The cost of purchasing an airline ticket via the Net is $1 vs.$8 for traditional reservations systems.

Break-out sessions will focus on specific industries and applications, as well as security, branding and distribution. A security consultant will also be available to address individual issues and demonstrate some of the newest technologies for building bulletproof networks.

During the last two years, IBM and Lotus have helped transform thousands of companies into e-businesses. While the Internet's potential for retail sales is often touted, perhaps even more compelling is how network computing can change internal processes and impact the bottom line. For example, Chrysler Corporation has saved more than $2 billion via a Lotus Notes-based server application that allows suppliers to submit ideas for cost-savings online.

``E-business is a fundamental change in the way business is done,'' said Dr.Irving Wladawsky-Berger, general manager, IBM Internet Division. ``Internet technology enables a company, whether small, medium or large, to truly exploit its resources, by linking together its people with its applications, data bases, and overall knowledge capital.''

A study last year by the META Group found that the return on investment for intranets ranges from 21 to 68 percent, with the highest return on systems that support line-of-business activities. Today, e-business allows companies to virtually ignore borders and time-zones. For example, IBM technology enables employees of Domino's Pizza from across the world to regularly work together, discuss company issues and share information on best-selling pizzas.

With 60 million people using the Web and up to 1 billion predicted by 2005, the potential for communicating directly with customers is tremendous. In the next six months, 7 million more Americans are expected to come online.

``Despite these fundamental changes, the transformation to e-business doesn't have to be overwhelming,'' said Jeff Papows, president and CEO of Lotus Development. ``For example, a company can start an intranet for as little as $1,500, and run the software on multiple desktop systems.''

``A key component of our e-business program is our philosophy that companies should start simple, perhaps by making e-mail available or publishing a company web site, said Dr. Wladawsky-Berger. We encourage customers to build on the equipment they have and invest only in scaleable solutions that can grow with them.

For more information or to register for the e-business Forum, visit http://www.ibm.com/e-business/forum.

IBM is the industry's leading provider of solutions to help customers become e-businesses. The first to market a comprehensive suite of secure end-to-end solutions that enable commerce and content distribution over the Internet, IBM is dedicated to helping businesses exploit the potential of network computing.

Lotus Development Corporation, founded in 1982, is a subsidiary of IBM Corporation. Lotus offers high-quality software products and services that reflect the company's unique understanding of the new ways in which individuals and businesses must work together to achieve success. Lotus' innovative approach is evident in a new class of applications that allow users to access and communicate information in ways never before possible, both within and beyond organizational boundaries.

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