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IBM Launches New Industry Solutions for Mid-Sized Businesses


IBM (NYSE: IBM) today announced the next step in the growth of its Express Advantage strategy for mid-sized businesses with the introduction of new solutions for the industrial manufacturing, automotive, fashion and apparel, chemicals, and food and beverage industries. IBM also announced a range of new Express Advantage technology offerings from across its Software, Systems and Technology Services groups.

IBM Express Advantage combines a comprehensive portfolio of technology offerings and financing options, with a network of local IBM Business Partners and customer support capabilities to create a powerful, end-to-end approach to helping mid-sized customers increase efficiency, innovate and grow. As part of its ongoing investment in SMB, IBM also announced the expansion of Express Advantage to additional countries, bringing the total to over 30 since launching the initiative in North America last year.

The latest portfolio addresses the rapidly growing demand for innovative business and infrastructure solutions that now account for more than 60 percent of mid-market technology spending. To underscore the mid-market innovation imperative, a recent IBM survey of 1,200 Mid-market customers shows that nearly two-thirds of the decision-makers surveyed plan more than one business model change over the next two years. The newly launched industry solutions combine IBM offerings with leading Independent Software Vendors’ (ISV) applications to help customers address these business change initiatives. New solutions include:

* IBM Express Fashion and Apparel Solution for Lawson M3
* IBM Express Food and Beverage Solution for Lawson M3
* IBM Express Industrial Manufacturing Solution for Oracle E-Business Suite
* IBM Express Food & Beverage Solution for Oracle’s JD Edwards EnterpriseOne
* IBM Express Automotive Supplier Solution, a qualified SAP All-in-One solution
* IBM Express Chemical Solution, a qualified SAP All-in-One solution

In addition to industry solutions, IBM also announced a range of new Express Advantage offerings to address customer security, business recovery, employee collaboration and energy efficiency needs. New offerings include:

* IBM Recovery Express, a pre-packaged data center disaster recovery solution
* Rational Build Forge Express Edition, focused on improving employee collaboration in the software development process.
* IBM BladeCenter S Express, a powerful, energy efficient system designed to help mid-market firms simplify the management of their technology.
* IBM Proventia Network Security Express suite*, a preemptive network security solution based on innovative technology from IBM Internet Security Systems (ISS).

“IBM continues to expand its Express Advantage program and these new offerings exemplify how we collaborate with our business partners and ISVs to develop solutions that drive innovation and growth for our customers,” said Steve Solazzo, General Manager, IBM Global Mid-market Business. “Extending Express Advantage to more than 30 countries reaffirms our commitment to serving mid-sized companies around the world.”

IBM also announced the continued expansion of key Business Partner programs such as Solutions Builder Express (SBE) and IBM Built on Express Advantage.

* The SBE program introduced two new solution starting points for Business Partners: The Integrated Server and Virtual Storage Management solution that illustrates potential scenarios to help customers improve IT operations; and the Process Modeling for Business Performance Improvement solution designed to help customers drive business process improvement across their organizations.
* The IBM Built on Express Advantage program recently surpassed its 1,200th deployed Built on Express Advantage Business Partner solution, almost doubling since the beginning of 2007. This collaborative program combines the skills and local capabilities of IBM Business Partners with Express Advantage offerings to create proven solutions for the mid-market

“Our customers need robust, affordable solutions that are easy to implement, manage and use,” said David Harty, Director of Sales & Marketing for SilverBlaze Solutions Inc., an IBM Business Partner. “That’s what Express Advantage is all about. In many instances, IBM’s Express offerings have played an integral part in making our customers’ dreams become reality. The latest set of Express offerings and industry solutions are welcome additions to the portfolio. They’ve taken a great idea and made it even better.”

Another key benefit to IBM Express Advantage is IBM Financing Advantage (IFA) designed specifically for the mid-market. IFA offers customers and Business Partners complete single-source financing at competitive rates, featuring easy access to leases and loans for IBM and non-IBM hardware, software and services, and a full range of buyback, recycling and scrap services to help manage costs, while simultaneously funding growth.

Details on the IBM industry solution offerings:
IBM Express Application Package Selection Service offers customers a quick, objective, independent assessment of their business process requirements and helps to determine suitable enterprise applications to meet their needs. This enables customers to focus on process and business improvement with a proven IBM methodology. The service is easily executed, quickly deployed and tailored to each individual client situation. This solution is now available in the U.S. and Canada.

The IBM Express Fashion and Apparel Solution for Lawson M3 & IBM Express Food and Beverage Solution for Lawson M3 meets the needs of companies in the food and beverage and fashion-related industries with a streamlined industry solution pre-configured with best practices by IBM and Lawson, yet at a total cost of ownership compatible with mid-market companies’ technology investment strategy. These two new offerings enable mid-market companies to quickly implement via pre-configured best practices as part of the solution from IBM. Customers can manage their entire operation from production to order management to supply chain to distribution and financials. This solution is now available in the U.S. and Canada.

The IBM Industrial Manufacturing solution for Oracle E-Business Suite provides mid-market companies with highly specialized business applications including the management of products with highly variable attributes and complex supply chains. This solution is now available in the U.S. and Canada.

IBM Express Food and Beverage Solution for JD Edwards Enterprise One provides mid-market companies an ERP application platform that supports their needs to operate in a collaborative, repetitive environment with high velocity supply chain requirements including serving third party wholesalers and retailers. This solution is now available in selected European countries, specifically Italy, France, Belgium and the Netherlands.

The IBM Automotive Supplier and Chemical SAP All in One Solutions provide mid-market companies industry specific solutions that address the needs of their market segment today, while building an enterprise “platform” that will support their growth plans. Mid-market companies can implement a tier one ERP platform faster and cheaper than previously possible with pre-configuration by IBM. This IBM solution provides predictable implementation, timeline and cost providing the client with full visibility to total cost and business impact. These solutions are now available in Germany.

Details on new Software, Systems and Services offerings:
IBM Rational Build Forge Express Edition is the first IBM Express offering to help mid-sized organizations gain control of their software development and delivery processes. This new software helps standardize and automate repetitive tasks, manage compliance mandates, and information sharing. The result is improved overall software release efficiency, quality, and lower project costs.

IBM BladeCenter S is the industry’s first blade computing system designed to help smaller firms simplify the management of technology needed to operate a small business -- from servers to phone systems and anti-virus applications -- in a single system. IBM BladeCenter S is “right-sized” to sit on a desktop, plug into a standard 110 volt power typically found in branch offices and small businesses, and manage storage and up to six blade servers at a time. BladeCenter S Express comes pre-populated with the most popular product options for power, storage and connectivity, so it is easy to purchase.

IBM Disaster Recovery Services for Data Center Recovery -- Recovery Express is a prepackaged data center recovery solution, built specifically for SMB clients. Designed for easy purchasing, implementation and management, Recovery Express’s comprehensive set of data recovery options allows clients to efficiently recover in times of disruption. Recovery Express is competitively priced to meet the budgetary needs of smaller companies and integrates IBM’s business continuity and resiliency expertise with its leading technologies, including IBM System i, IBM System p and IBM System x servers.

IBM Proventia Network Security Express suite -- Based on the innovative security products of IBM Internet Security Systems, the Express offering, comprised of Proventia® Multi-Function Security, Enterprise Scanner and Mail Security, helps identify vulnerabilities in network infrastructure and provides preemptive protection against a comprehensive range of Internet threats including spam, viruses, worms, spyware and other types of malware. Unlike competitive solutions, IBM ISS technology does not require organizations to be affected by attacks before protecting against them.


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