IBM Expands Express Portfolio with New Product Lifecycle Management Solutions for Medium-Sized Manufacturers

Medium-size manufacturers will benefit from PLM Express solutions delivering rich functionality and rapid deployment at an affordable price

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WHITE PLAINS, N.Y. - 30 Jul 2003: IBM today extended its portfolio of Express offerings created specifically for medium-sized customers by announcing PLM Express solutions. Product Lifecycle Management (PLM) is a strategic approach to creating and managing a company's product-related intellectual capital, from its initial conception to retirement. These first IBM PLM Express solutions are ideally suited to the product development needs of specific manufacturing segments including industrial components, tooling suppliers, industrial machinery, mobile equipment, plastics manufacturing and consumer goods.

IBM's Express portfolio is comprised of hardware, software, services and financing and is the first in the industry designed to meet specific criteria for medium-sized businesses with respect to function, ease-of-use, management and price. The offerings within the new IBM Express portfolio will assist medium-sized businesses -- companies with between 100 and 1,000 employees that often have fewer IT skills and tighter budgets than larger enterprises -- in their transformation to on demand businesses using IBM's open standards-based technology.

Sold and serviced through IBM and IBM's extensive, locally based PLM Business Partner network, PLM Express solutions consist of CATIA Version 5, the leading collaborative product design software, and SMARTEAM for product data management developed by Dassault Systemes. These applications will be offered as part of a customizable total solutions package that includes IBM WebSphere Application Server - Express middleware for a secure and robust web services delivery platform; IBM hardware including IntelliStations for top CATIA and graphics performance, and eServer for secure storage of product designs and shared access to the applications. The package also includes options for systems management, enhanced user support, application training and flexible low-rate financing options to ensure a smooth implementation at an affordable price for rapid and substantial return on investment.

As part of the Express launch and its commitment to the growing mid-market PLM customer base, IBM is reinforcing help desk support with a new 'how to' hotline. All PLM customers regardless of size will now have worldwide access to 150 dedicated PLM Express end-user support representatives, providing call center support in 20 languages during business hours and web support 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

The PLM Express solutions were designed and developed to meet the needs of customers in their particular industry - so customers only pay for functionality they require. The PLM Express platform enables efficient and collaborative product development and data management both internally and with customers and suppliers. Product data can be managed even between different design systems reducing manufacturing costs, speeding the delivery of new products to the marketplace, and improving the quality of service and product maintenance after the sale.

"We have been looking for an affordable PLM system for a few months, but between software and implementation costs we couldn't justify it even with our customers urging us to do so," said Mike Saputo, President, Jomico, a family-operated precision sheet metal job shop based in St. Louis. "With this new PLM Express offering everything is bundled to eliminate the high costs that can be detrimental to a small company like us. Now, PLM is a tangible goal instead of a long term vision."

Fausto Bellamico, general director, EMAK, a gardening and forestry equipment manufacturer, explained "As a mid-size enterprise with 500 employees, we need a full-scale IT solution, encompassing hardware, software and services that's sized and priced to fit. We supply outdoor maintenance equipment to customers around the world, and we can't afford any down time to install new systems. IBM delivered and installed a complete solution, including the world's leading product design software, CATIA V5, and the compatible and scaleable SMARTEAM product data management software running on powerful IBM IntelliStations that replaced our slower Hewlett-Packard desktops. We expect express return-on-investment through reduced engineering time, automated document production, and more efficient manufacturing processes. We thank IBM for supporting our mid-size business with big company technology at a small company price."

IBM's new PLM Express offerings are available immediately.

Christine Lemyze, vice president Marketing, IBM Product Lifecycle Management, said, "IBM delivers the best in PLM technology and with certified business partners in 160 countries, we support it with the most experienced global network of PLM professionals. Together, we are removing the traditional barriers of expense and complexity to make our offer even more accessible to medium-sized companies around the world. Aside from ease of use and affordability, the value add of the PLM Express offering is its capacity to provide an integrated set of solutions combining powerful PLM applications with IBM middleware and hardware, along with best-in-class support from local business partners and preferential financing terms. These are the key strategic components that set our offering apart from the competition and will help customers win in their own industry."

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