IBM Launches New Middleware Software for Automotive and Electronics Customers

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SOMERS, NY - 19 Mar 2004: IBM today announced new software to help customers streamline operational efficiencies and solve key business challenges that are specific to the automotive and electronics industries.

The new middleware solutions can help electronics customers manage complex supply chains, support regulatory compliance efforts, and bring new products to market as quickly as possible. Automotive customers can use the solutions to reduce costs associated with supply chain efficiencies, strengthen communication with customers and suppliers, and improve product quality.

In addition to software and services from IBM, the solutions will be complemented by industry-specific applications from IBM's global network of independent software vendors (ISVs). Early supporters of these new solutions include ISVs such as DST, Inc., MSC Software, and SAS.

IBM Middleware Solutions for Electronics
Streamlining complex supply chains and bringing innovative new products to market faster yet more cost effectively are top priorities for electronics companies around the world.

To help electronics customers achieve their strategic objectives and manage rapidly changing business environments, IBM is launching five new Middleware Solutions for Electronics that address supply chain collaboration, innovation management, software lifecycle management, regulatory compliance and business performance management:

Schneider Electronics, the world's Power & Control specialist, is using IBM's Portal and select collaborative solutions to provide customers, suppliers and employees with a personalized interface to access a variety of information over the Internet.

"IBM's shift towards industry-tailored solutions is helping us bridge the gap between our business and IT needs," said Patrick Bouteiller, Director of Customer Software & e-Business, Schneider Electric. "We chose IBM's solutions to set up our enterprise portal because of IBM's experience in electronics, and because IBM's technology is scalable to meet the increasing expansion of our portal system."

IBM Middleware Solutions for Automotive
IBM's six new Middleware Solutions for Automotive address key business challenges faced by the automotive industry. The solutions can help automotive manufacturers, dealers and suppliers lower costs while increasing profits and improve the speed and efficiency of processes around designing, building, selling and servicing a vehicle.

With the new solutions, automotive manufacturers, dealers and suppliers are better equipped to have inventory visibility, decrease product development cycle time, improve communications with customers, and reduce development, manufacturing and supply chain costs.

The solutions are:

One of the components within the Automotive Production solution and the Electronics Supply Chain Collaboration solution is the WebSphere Business Integration Adapter for SAP Exchange Infrastructure, which IBM also announced this week. Automotive and electronics companies can use this component to integrate their SAP implementations -- supply chain management and customer relationship management applications -- with manufacturing systems and other back-end systems. It helps them to track accurately the movement of goods across the extended value chain and deliver prompt, up-to-date information for enhanced customer satisfaction and decision making.

Earlier this quarter, IBM announced industry solutions for financial markets, banking, insurance, retail, healthcare, life sciences, and telecommunications. In the coming months, IBM will rollout additional solutions unique to the consumer products, energy and utilities, and government industries.

The solutions combine four optional elements for customers: IBM middleware technology from its five software brands (WebSphere, DB2, Tivoli, Lotus and Rational), industry-specific middleware from IBM, industry-specific services expertise from IBM and others, and industry-specific application software from IBM's network of independent software vendors (ISVs). At their core, each solution represents the middleware needed in an operating environment that can be flexibly tailored to help customers accelerate revenue streams and improve profit margins.

"Our new industry-specific middleware solutions can help automotive and electronics companies realize their full business potential," said Doug Brown, vice president of marketing, industry solutions, IBM. "As companies adopt these solutions, they're meeting the challenges of managing complex, ever-changing global supply chains and rapidly expanding customer needs, two key areas that help them transform their businesses into on demand enterprises."

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Information Management, Lotus, Tivoli, Rational, WebSphere, Open standards, open source