IBM Beacon Awards Distinguish Outstanding Business Partner Achievements In 2001

Twelve IBM Business Partners Receive Top Honors

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SAN FRANCISCO, CA - 19 Feb 2002: IBM announced at its PartnerWorld conference winners of the third annual IBM Beacon Awards, honoring twelve IBM Software Business Partners around the world for outstanding achievements in e-business. The IBM Beacon Awards were judged by a team of leading industry journalists and analysts along with IBM executives.

Presented at a gala reception in San Francisco's historic Regency Building, the IBM Beacon Awards were split into six categories: Excellence in Partnering, Best Leveraging Information for Competitive Advantage Solution, Best Managing Technology Solution, Best WebSphere e-Business Solution, Greatest Innovation in e-Business and Greatest Mid-market Success. A Distinguished Achievement Award was also given to one Business Partner from each of four geographic regions around the world.

Nominations for the third annual awards were received from more than 130 Business Partners in 23 countries, reflecting the rapidly growing breadth and global reach of solutions and services delivered by IBM Business Partners.

"The IBM Beacon Awards recognize Software Business Partners worldwide who have excelled in providing quality e-business solutions and services to customers based on IBM, Lotus, and/or Tivoli technologies," said Mark Hanny, vice president, Worldwide SMB & Channel Software Marketing, IBM. "The Business Partners selected as IBM Beacon Award winners have provided the highest quality technologies and solutions for their customers."

The panel of judges, drawn from a range of leading industry publications, consulting groups, and IBM executives, includes: Christa Coleman, E-Business Advisor; Robert DeMarzo, VARBusiness; Jay Lang, Distributed Computing Professionals; Douglas Lynn, Meta Group; Ellie MacIsaac, WebSphere Advisor; David McGoveran, Alternative Technologies; Steve McHale, IDC -- Canada; Ed Moltzen, CRN; Joe Panettieri; Stacey Quandt, Giga Information Group; David Stodder, Intelligent Enterprise; and John Taschek, eWeek Labs. Based on their ballots, the winners are:

Excellence in Partnering -- This award recognizes two or more Business Partners who utilized their complementary skills to deliver a total customer solution.

Emerging Technology Solutions ( www.etsgroup.com) (Franktown, CO), Key Information Systems ( www.keyisit.com) (Woodland Hills, CA), Tech Frameworks Inc. ( www.techframeworks.com) (Santa Rosa, CA) teamed up to provide Gundlach Bundschu Winery with a solution to manage its 3,000+ wine club members in a shared environment, use membership data for outbound marketing to drive tasting room sales, and provide a members-only portal for ordering wine without having to call, fax or mail. To meet these goals, Tech Framework called in Emerging Technology Solutions, an IBM Premier Business Partner with expertise in commercially available Lotus Notes** and Domino** applications. The team grew to include Key Information Systems, another IBM Premier Business Partner, which was instrumental in arranging for the solution's financing and hosting with IBM Global Finance and IBM Hosting services. Bundschu noted that during the first 45 days the application was online, the winery generated tens of thousands of dollars in additional new revenue from wine club members. Bundschu anticipates the payback on the initial investment will be less than three months and estimated ROI will be 195 percent in the first year alone.

Best Leveraging Information for Competitive Advantage Solution -- A solution that makes full use of company data in a cost effective and innovative manner which enabled the customer to obtain fact-based, conclusive and actionable information about their business using IBM software.

Andersen ( www.andersen.com) (Merelbeke, Belgium) is an IBM Premier Business Partner. After a series of mergers and acquisitions with a number of smaller insurance companies, Delta Lloyd Life (DLL) needed to interconnect the companies' disparate islands of information so that agents could leverage the combined data resources for maximum competitive advantage. The Belgium office of Andersen brought everything together for DLL with a centralized IBM DB2*-based information system called Advanced Agent Management System (AAS). With a single entry point to all its business units, DLL has been able to streamline business processes, reduce new employee training time and increase the ROI of its IT assets. In addition, AAS has freed employees to focus on more critical business tasks by eliminating paper handling and related administrative support.

Best Managing Technology Solution -- A solution that utilized Tivoli technologies to provide a well-managed, secure e-business environment.

Datatrend Technologies ( www.datatrend.com) (Minnetonka, MN) was called in by a major U.S. financial services institution to create a check imaging repository solution.

Combining its technology with Check Solutions ( www.checksolutions.com), Datatrend designed and implemented a Highly Available Check Imaging Repository Solution, combining the Check Solutions application with Tivoli* Storage Manager and disaster recovery software. Customers of the financial services institution now have greater and more efficient access to information about their bank statements, while the financial services institution is saving money on reduced paper consumption, increased productivity, more up-time, and increased customer satisfaction.

Best WebSphere e-business Solution -- A solution that leverages the Internet to transform existing business processes into real-time, secure, integrated transaction systems that improve customer service, customer support, supply chain linkages, and profitability.

NetSetGo, Inc. ( www.netsetgo.com) (Rochester, NY), a full-service Web integrator and IBM Premier Business Partner, used IBM WebSphere* Application Server Standard Edition Version 3.5 among other IBM technologies to create the Chase-Pitkin Web and Wireless Point of Sale Extension. Relying on the robust security, reliability and scalability of WebSphere, Chase-Pitkin's e-business solution is realizing many benefits.

Automated order entry results in more accurate orders and lower customer care costs. Wireless orders are fulfilled in minutes, rather than days. Greater customer satisfaction is helping to grow revenues and reach new markets. In addition, the ability for Chase-Pitkin to gather real-time business intelligence on customer buying habits and profitability is a major benefit for increased cross-selling and up-selling.

Greatest Innovation in e-Business -- Awarded to the Business Partner whose solution, e-business initiative or program, business model and/or channel strategy clearly sets them apart in the marketplace and impacts IBM's market position.

Digital Union UK Ltd. ( www.digitalunion.com) (Guildford, Surrey, UK), an IBM Premier Business Partner and part of the IBM Voice Server Practice Accelerator program, enabled Speak-ez, its voice enabling solution, on WebSphere Voice Server to provide voice access to any e-business infrastructure using voice recognition technology. Speak-ez technology provides a new layer of voice-enabled customer relationship management (CRM). Speak-ez customers, typically midmarket in size and featuring small customer service departments, report extremely rapid implementation of the Speak-ez solution, reduced customer service costs, and improved customer loyalty through faster, more efficient service. Three- to six-month ROIs are not uncommon for Speak-ez customers.

Greatest Mid-market Success -- Awarded to the Business Partner achieving the greatest results in the Mid-market customer space by leveraging IBM's Small and Medium Business Marketing and Enablement Programs.

Sysinct ( www.sysinct.com) (Pittsburgh, PA) provided Industrial Scientific, a mid-sized manufacturer of gas detection and monitoring products, a vital solution by leveraging its expertise in IBM Start Now. Sysinct used Start Now solutions to quickly and cost-effectively develop Instrument Network. Instrument Network is a sophisticated Java-based solution that enables secure data transmission from remote sites to a central data repository, automated report generation of gas measurements, and remote calibration and management of gas-detection instruments. Instrument Network enables more timely, accurate and automated regulation of gases, which means faster, easier, and more cost-effective management of gas environments for both Industrial Scientific and its customers. The solution has also enabled the company to deliver a more comprehensive range of service offerings and a higher level of protection for workers who may encounter toxic or combustible gases.

Distinguished Achievement Awards -- Awarded to the Business Partner in each of four worldwide geographic regions that exemplifies the best qualities found in an IBM Business Partner.

Distinguished Achievement Award - Asia Pacific Mesiniaga Berhad ( www.mesiniaga.com.my) (Subang Jaya, Malaysia), an IBM Business Partner since its founding in 1982, has grown from 50 to 350 employees, providing leading industry solutions, complex networking, workflow and e-business solutions supporting a range of desktop to enterprise servers. Nationwide service centers in 14 locations throughout Malaysia help Mesiniaga support key industry segments that include banking/finance, government, education and manufacturing. In 2001, the company achieved 221% year-to-year growth in IBM software revenues, making it Asia-Pacific's highest-performing member of IBM's Top Contributor Initiative.

Distinguished Achievement Award - Europe/Middle East/Africa Tectrade Computers Ltd. ( www.tectrade.co.uk) (Godalming, Surrey, UK) is one of Europe's leading independent specialists in the design and implementation of enterprise wide Data and SAN management solutions. An IBM Premier Business Partner and member of IBM's Top Contributor Initiative, Tectrade focuses on helping organizations adopt mainframe levels of centralized control for both legacy and new applications. In 2001, for the second year in a row, Tectrade was selected as Tivoli's Storage Business Partner of the Year in Northern EMEA. The company's focus on the Mid-market was a success in 2001, with the majority of its revenues coming from this fast-growing segment of IT purchasers. Tectrade's strong working relationship with IBM's direct sales force led to several customer wins in 2001, with Tectrade delivering hardware and high-value services and IBM providing software.

Distinguished Achievement Award - Latin America Grupo PISSA ( www.grupopissa.com) (Nueva Anzures, Mexico), delivers a wide range of e-business solutions, systems management offerings, and services based on Tivoli, Lotus, WebSphere and IBM Content Management products. As an IBM Premier Business Partner and member of the IBM Top Contributor Initiative, Grupo PISSA achieved a strong increase in its IBM software sales to the Mid-market last year despite the country's sluggish economy. Enhancing its reputation for deep IT expertise, Grupo PISSA has achieved more than 30 sales and technical certifications in IBM products, including Start Now Collaboration, Start Now Host Integration and Start Now Customer Relationship Management Solutions. Grupo PISSA sees the value in teaming with other IBM Business Partners to provide a complete, best-in-class solution, and has developed alliances with more than 50 IBM Business Partners and other solution providers.

Distinguished Achievement Award - North America Silicon Plains Technologies, Inc. ( www.sptech.com) (West Des Moines, IA) a Premier-level IBM Business Partner and member of the Top Contributor Initiative, is clearly committed to IBM e-business solutions. They complemented their marketing and sales prowess with investment in the technical certifications needed to succeed in today's highly competitive environment. Its work in the public sector netted them GovNetworks and eGovernment Magazine's "Digital Award of Excellence" twice in 2001. They have decades of experience in multiple industries with image and COLD solutions. Passion for IBM's technology, a commitment to achieving certification, and a willingness to invest in growing markets yielded an IBM Software revenue year-to-year growth of almost 400% for Silicon Plains.

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