November 15, 2006 10:57 ET

IBM Introduces Maintenance and Support Service Product

New Services Will Support Multi-Vendor Environments in Retail and Other Industries

ARMONK, NY -- (MARKET WIRE) -- November 15, 2006 -- IBM (NYSE: IBM), the world's leading information technology (IT) services provider, today introduced a service product and managed support services to help businesses reduce downtime, optimize IT resources and simplify the management of their IT environments.

The new service product, IBM Solution Support for Open Point-of-Sale, provides retail clients with a single point of contact for support services for their Open Point-of-Sale (POS) solution, which can comprise both IBM and non-IBM products. IBM POS solutions include both payment and information systems to help retailers provide efficient and personalized customer service. These IBM POS solutions are installed at nine out of the top ten worldwide retailers.

The Solution Support for Open Point-of-Sale service product represents the latest step in IBM's strategy to deliver traditional labor-based technology services in a manner more similar to the delivery of technology products.

Open POS solutions from IBM incorporate hardware and software built on open standards and are pre-tested, packaged and proven for store environments. The new service product is available with 24 by 7 support and includes a personalized support plan and a unique solution identifier for quick routing to the appropriate service area for resolution. The Solution Support for Open Point-of-Sale service product is available immediately.

IBM is also announcing today new Managed Support Services that can help ensure the technical availability of a client's installed multi-vendor IT environment. The service defines the middle ground between product support and strategic outsourcing.

"IBM helps us to reduce the complexity of IT management by giving us a single point of contact to handle all technical support requirements at our restaurants, regardless of the equipment's brand," said Luciano Parola, CIO of the South Latin American division of McDonald's. "IBM's Managed Support Services deliver the service levels that our business model needs, so our stores can concentrate on the restaurant business instead of dealing with technology issues."

"IBM's Managed Support Services provide us with a single escalation point for maintenance services across multiple vendor products," said Charlie Majane, director of technical services at Carey International, the world's premier provider of limousine services and luxury ground transportation with locations in 65 countries. "IBM has simplified our billing and service delivery processes."

IBM is a global leader in technical support services, providing solutions to increase availability and simplify management of multi-vendor environments. IBM delivers industry-leading technical support services in three key areas:

--  Delivering a portfolio of maintenance and technical support services -
    From basic problem fixes to end-to-end support, IBM can leverage its
    comprehensive range of support services to deliver the service an
    organization needs.
--  Simplifying IBM support - IBM offers an integrated approach that
    provides clients with a single point of contact and accountability for all
    support needs.
--  Resolving issues more quickly - IBM offers end-to-end, proactive
    support, including fast, direct access to experts, which can lead to faster
    problem resolution.
"Building on our strong foundation as the leading support provider, IBM is uniquely positioned to address clients' changing needs," said Patricia Gibbs, vice president, Maintenance and Technical Support Services, IBM. "IBM can serve as the single point of contact for support, helping to bring simplicity to the evolving and complex information technology environments that clients are facing today."

IBM has more than 20,000 highly skilled technical support professionals ready to service clients in over 170 countries around the globe.

For more information about new service products from IBM, go to

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