SOURCE: IBM

April 18, 2008 11:30 ET

Cetelem in a US$ 2.8 Million Technology Services Agreement With IBM

ARMONK, NY--(Marketwire - April 18, 2008) - Cetelem, a subsidiary of BNP-Paribas, has invested US$ 2.8 million in information technology (IT) services with IBM (NYSE: IBM). Cetelem provides family-focused, consumer financial services to more than a quarter of a million Argentine clients. Through this agreement, Cetelem will have more flexibility to deal with its business growth and its management and monitoring tools will allow it to respond proactively to all types of incidents and achieve significant productivity enhancement.

As part of the agreement, Cetelem will migrate a portion of its IT infrastructure and data center operations to IBM Argentina's Technology Campus -- the largest computing services center in the country -- located in Martínez, a Buenos Aires province.

"We have made a strong investment which will benefit our customers and our customers' customers by speeding operations and final service," said Patrick Declá, Cetelem Argentina's CEO.

"To do this, we rely on the added value and excellence provided by IBM through its IT services," added Gabriel Szlaifsztein, Cetelem Argentina's CIO.

"In response to rapid technological innovation, IBM Argentina offers companies the option of outsourcing their IT environments to help them enhance their competitive advantage in the market by improving their performance, reducing their costs and focusing completely on their activities and business strategies," remarked Guillermo Cascio, General Manager, IBM Argentina. "We are truly proud of being able to provide quality services with the innovation and high performance that Cetelem needs to meet its objectives and maximize its competitiveness."

Cetelem will be able to maximize its market competitiveness by delegating to IBM the operation, integration and updating of business computing systems. The main benefits can be classified into three broad categories:

--  Strategic - stronger focus on its business, increased competitiveness,
    increased flexibility and recovery from disaster
--  IT technology - technology optimization and access to new
    technologies, greater operational efficiency, increased availability of
    specialists, minimization of solutions and platforms integration risks,
    enhanced services quality and availability
--  Financial - better control of expenses, reduction and recovery of
    investments, access to scale economies, predictable and variable costs
    based on services use, elimination of hidden costs, better use of Human
    Resources and productivity benefits
    

This agreement was signed in the first quarter of 2008.

About Cetelem

Cetelem, a subsidiary of the BNP-Paribas group that started its activities in France 54 years ago, is an institution specialized in consumer credits. It is a leader in Europe as well as a world class international company in financing products for families. Its subsidiary in Argentina, Banco Cetelem Argentina, was created in 1997 and more than 350,000 families used the Cetelem services to finance their purchases or personal projects. For more information, visit www.cetelem.com.ar.

About IBM

For more information, visit www.ibm.com/services

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