IBM Maps Out New Industry Blueprints for Express

Business Partners Enabled on IBM Express Middleware Hits 3,000 in Just 18 Months

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SOMERS, NY - 06 Jul 2004: IBM today expanded its Solutions Builder Express Portfolio with the launch of new solution templates and a Jump Start offering to help Business Partners design complete customer solutions, industry-by-industry, on IBM Express middleware. IBM also announced that 3,000 Business Partners across the globe have been enabled to build and sell IBM Express middleware solutions since the portfolio's launch only 18 months ago.

Through broad enablement initiatives like Solutions Builder Express and the IBM Virtual Innovation Center, an online knowledge and technical support portal, thousands of value-added resellers, solutions providers and regional systems integrators are working with IBM to deliver Express solutions to mid-size customers. These enablement investments are part of IBM's Small and Medium Business Advantage, a $500 million initiative to provide marketing and sales support for Business Partners selling into the mid-size business space.

New Industry Templates Ease Solution Design
Available today, IBM is adding five new industry Starting Points to its Solutions Builder Express Portfolio. The new Starting Points include: Collaborative Document Management in Banking, Retail e-commerce Website, Collaborative Community and Employee Portals for IBM eServer iSeries, Cross-industry B2B e-commerce and B2C e-commerce Analytics.

Designed and tested jointly with Business Partners, each Starting Point acts as a solution template and provides detailed information on design, deployment, technical architecture, hardware and software specifications, installation and integration. Since its launch at PartnerWorld this year, Solutions Builder Express has already delivered 12 Starting Points and thousands of technical and sales assets to Business Partners working with Express middleware. Business Partners of all membership levels can now access 17 total Starting Points through the Solutions Builder Express portal located at www.ibm.com/partnerworld/solutionsbuilder/.

Speed to market is critical in the snack food industry, notoriously one of the most competitive areas of the food and beverage business. That's why Grupo Siro, one of Spain's largest snack food companies with 850 employees, turned to Aitana SBS, an IBM Business Partner, for a solution to help keep their company responsive to market pressures. Aitana relied on Solutions Builder Express to quickly design and deploy a Linux-based portal for Grupo Siro running on the IBM eServer xSeries.

"The portal Starting Point was a perfect fit for Grupo Siro, who needed to significantly improve the speed and manner in which their employees accessed and shared business information," said Jose Carlos Ramos, e-business manager, Aitana. "It was also a perfect fit for Aitana. Solutions Builder Express gave us an easy guide to follow in a complex environment that reduced development costs and allowed us to deploy the portal in just under two months."

Jump Start for Solutions Building
In addition to the new industry Starting Points, IBM is also launching Jump Start, a limited-time offering to help Business Partners quickly adopt and employ the assets included in the Solutions Builder Express portfolio. Through Jump Start, selected IBM Business Partners will have direct access to Solutions Builder Express development support, including extensive e-mail, telephone and on-site resources. Participants will be selected based on a number of criteria, including solution area and industry focus.

Business Partners can nominate themselves now by going to www.ibm.com/partnerworld/pwhome.nsf/weblook/sn_sol_builder_jump_start.html. This offering will expire on September 1, 2004. See web site for terms and conditions.

IBM's Express Portfolio
The IBM Express Portfolio offers hardware, middleware, services and financing -- all tailored to the needs of mid-size businesses -- that can be acquired, installed and managed quickly, are cost-effective, and designed to deliver a rapid return on investment (ROI). More than 60 offerings in the IBM Express Portfolio enable customers to help improve the responsiveness and flexibility of their IT infrastructure, so they can concentrate on their core businesses. And because cash flow is one of the most pressing issues for mid-sized businesses, the IBM Express Portfolio is more affordable with a series of attractive financing options. To learn more about IBM's Express Portfolio visit: http://www.ibm.com/businesscenter/us/express/.

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