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IBM, Mainsoft Announce New Technology, Global Reseller Agreement to Help Enterprise Customers Bridge Standards Divide


Agreement to Help Enterprise Customers Bridge Standards Divide

ARMONK, NY .-IBM (NYSE: IBM) and business partner Mainsoft® Corporation today announced new technology and a global reseller agreement that gives enterprise IT customers tools to preserve existing development skills, easily blend Java™ and .NET technology, and provide composite applications for business users in a secure and scalable environment.

Under the agreement, IBM will sell Mainsoft’s newly available .NET Extensions for WebSphere® Portal. Mainsoft’s custom suite of software products enables customers to integrate Windows® SharePoint services, Microsoft® Office document libraries, SQL Server Reports, and .NET applications onto IBM WebSphere® Portal server.

“By working with Mainsoft, IBM WebSphere Portal extends its ability to serve a broad spectrum of organizations, application types, and developer skill sets with one common foundation,” said Larry Bowden, IBM’s vice president of portals and web interaction services. “Customers can preserve their existing Microsoft development skills, reuse existing software assets, and provide a unified experience for their end users, and now, can take advantage of the scalability, security, and robustness of the open, standards-based Java WebSphere Portal to deliver an exceptional user experience.”

“Virtually all large-scale enterprises use both .NET and Java technologies to develop their enterprise applications, and by design or happenstance, they develop multiple portals for the same audience,” said Yaacov Cohen, president and CEO, Mainsoft Corporation. “When this occurs, portals become information silos, aggregating only a subset of enterprise data, applications, and services. With IBM and Mainsoft, enterprises can now solve this common business issue and create high-value applications that integrate .NET assets, SharePoint contents, and Java applications seamlessly in a secure and scalable portal environment.”

Solving Key Business Issues
Customers in banking, financial services, healthcare, insurance, manufacturing, retail, software development, and public sector are using .NET Extensions to integrate .NET technologies into WebSphere Portal server and WebSphere Application Server, without having to reengineer .NET applications or retrain .NET developers in Java.

New customers include:

* Healthways (NASDAQ: HWAY), a leading provider of comprehensive Health and Care Support(SM) solutions, used C# and Java technologies to develop a customer-facing eFulfillment site running on IBM WebSphere Portal. The self- service site will give more than 27 million members the ability to query and download personalized information to help them maintain or improve their health, and as a result, reduce overall healthcare costs for corporate and insurance plan sponsors. Explains David Jarmoluk, director of enterprise architecture for Healthways, “The Visual Studio®-based development experience was highly intuitive for our C# developers, who were developing Java portlets on day one of a two-day training with Mainsoft consultants. As a result, Healthways’ eFulfillment site went into production just five months after we started development work.” Jarmoluk estimates that the site is expected to pay for itself in reduced mailing and administrative costs within a year.
* Bayer MaterialScience (BMS), one of the world’s largest producers of polymers and high-performance plastics and an independent subgroup within Bayer AG, commissioned Mainsoft to integrate its sales reports engine, based on Microsoft SQL Server Reporting Services, into its WebSphere Portal- based Sales Force Cockpit. The Intranet site consolidates Bayer’s global sales and customer service resources into a single sign-on, collaborative work environment. According to Michael Becker, director of organization & information systems, application management for BMS, “Mainsoft enabled us to integrate our SQL-based sales reports into WebSphere Portal, which is the basis of our global sales and customer service platform, without having to re-implement them. Going forward, our team can support a single reporting technology, which we expect to save us significant time and resources versus maintaining two separate reporting services.”

Other WebSphere Portal projects built using .NET Extensions include a virtual information service center for Belgian University Hospital Ghent and an intranet site to consolidate eight pension funds, and US$3 billion in assets for Opal Pension Funds.


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