IBM and Bluevar Help John Laing Homes Build a Solid IT Foundation

Complete IBM Solution Lowers Costs and Improves Service

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NEWPORT BEACH, CA - 21 Apr 2004: John Laing Homes, recently named 2004 Builder of the Year, is using new self-healing technologies on IBM personal computers and servers to reduce overall IT costs and sharpen its edge in the fast-growing, highly competitive home building markets of Southern California and Colorado, IBM and Bluevar announced today.

To drive down lifecycle costs, reduce overhead and improve efficiency, John Laing Homes has deployed each ThinkPad notebook, ThinkCentre desktop and eServer xSeries server with IBM ThinkVantage Technologies and other IBM autonomic solutions designed to minimize the need for help desk assistance and increase employee productivity.

For example, the Rapid Restore software deployed on ThinkPad notebooks and ThinkCentre desktops allows for the backup and quick recovery of data, settings and applications in the event of an emergency, such as a virus or software crash. And IBM Director, a client/server workgroup manager, helps the homebuilder view and track the hardware configuration of remote systems in detail, providing self-diagnosis capabilities and overall performance of critical hardware components.

"John Laing Homes first deployed IBM technology in 1999 by testing and installing Rapid Restore," said Steven Scardina, vice president of information technology, John Laing Homes. "After realizing the business benefit of having a standardized infrastructure and with IBM becoming increasingly competitive on its price point, we chose to deploy a complete IBM solution."

Having a technology infrastructure that helps reduce costs and increase employee productivity will be important in the current homebuilding market. According to the National Association of Home Builders, evolving market fundamentals, such as stronger job and income growth, will keep the single-family market activity at an elevated level for 2004. After a record-breaking year for the single-family market and overall homeownership in the United States for 2003, competition for growth in the home building industry will continue to increase and the ability to minimize IT infrastructure costs could be a key differentiator.

John Laing Homes prides itself on building homes to the highest specifications, well above industry standards. Selling to and building for customers that demand quality in all of their purchases, the homebuilder looks for the same in its technology consultant and vendor. John Laing Homes has deployed IBM's ThinkPad notebooks and ThinkCentre desktops in each one of its California- and Colorado-based offices. On future home sites, John Laing Homes is deploying IBM ThinkCentre S50 desktops in the model homes for use by customers who want regular communications updates.

Supporting John Laing Homes with its IT deployment, Bluevar, an IBM Premier Advanced Partner, continues to provide service and support through IBM and consulting services for future IT deployments.