SOURCE: IBM CORPORATION

March 27, 2006 21:11 ET

IBM Honors Its Most Innovative System i Clients

Winners Deliver Breakthrough Designs in Data Warehousing, High Availability, IT Simplification and Education on the System i Platform

MINNEAPOLIS, MN -- (MARKET WIRE) -- March 27, 2006 -- COMMON -- IBM and COMMON announced the five winners of its annual IT Innovation Awards at the COMMON conference in Minneapolis where thousands of System i users gathered today.

The second annual System i Innovation Awards showcased the achievements of clients who use IBM's "all-in-one," open System i platform to deliver IT innovation. The 2006 award winners were: Elie Tahari, Quixtar, Inc., Transworld Entertainment, Bank of America National Association, Canada Branch and Moraine Valley College.

"System i clients consistently strive to be innovative. It is that spirit at the core of the System i platform -- driving business value and efficiency while delivering outstanding availability and automation," said Mark Shearer, IBM System i general manager. "We are pleased to recognize the outstanding achievements of our clients who have found new and exciting ways to build upon the System i's innovative technology to deliver even greater value to their customers."

Here are details on this year's winners:

--  Elie Tahari, a leading designer of women's fashions, designed an
    innovative data warehousing application that supports the company's
    business management and a customized scorecard application in near-real
    time, allowing managers at all levels to report on business performance
    without the delay of manually prepared spreadsheets. Additionally, it
    allows managers to see all aspects of their world-wide operations to make
    timely business decisions. The application pulled multiple information
    systems onto a single System i and earned Elie Tahari the award for
    Application Deployment.
    
--  Quixtar, Inc., a leading online retailer of health and beauty
    products, developed a high-availability back-up system that enabled it to
    achieve high availability for its business applications while meeting
    customer demand. Quixtar consolidated its environment onto two System i
    570s located five miles apart that use Lakeview MIMIX for object and data
    replication between the systems. Quixtar also relies on IBM WebSphere MQ to
    relocate inquiries from its Web site so they can be processed by the backup
    system during peak hours, eliminating downtime. The company received the
    Innovation Award in the Business Resiliency category.
    
--  Transworld Entertainment, one of the largest specialty music and video
    retailers in the United States, consolidated its mixed environment of IBM
    and of other server technology onto a single System i and successfully
    integrated its business applications onto the platform, simplifying its IT
    environment and allowing the company to provide better customer service.
    Transworld's business applications connect to point-of-sale devices that
    allow retail store employees to post updates and corrections to their store
    inventories, simplifying Transworld's critical daily operations. Transworld
    received the award for Infrastructure Simplification.
    
--  Bank of America National Association, Canada Branch integrated all of
    its business software on i5/OS and increased the number of transactions
    processed on i5/OS by 115 percent. This reduced its IT maintenance staff
    requirements by 22 percent and doubled the business revenue of one of its
    key business units. The bank has trusted the System i and its predecessors
    to run its in-house-developed business applications for over 20 years and
    was today honored with the award for i5/OS Leadership.
    
--  Moraine Valley College in Palos Hills, Illinois has continued to
    provide education on the System i platform and enhance its curriculum to
    keep pace with the system's growing capabilities. Most recently, the
    College acquired a new System i5 running Linux to help teach students in an
    operating systems course. After demonstrating its commitment to System i
    education for more then 18 years, Moraine Valley College was this year's
    recipient of the Education Award.
    
"We introduced the System i Innovation Awards one year ago to recognize, showcase and share best practices among the System i community," said Beverly Russell, COMMON board president. "This year we were impressed by the more than 50 nominations we received and the innovation that was executed on the System i platform by all of the nominees and finalists."

The winners and finalists, honored this evening at an awards ceremony hosted by Mark Shearer, IBM System i general manager, and Beverly Russell, COMMON board president, were chosen by a panel of 25 judges that included IT-industry leaders, analysts, and IBM and COMMON executives. Current IBM System i customers could be nominated by an IBM Business Partner, IBM employee or themselves. Winners represent the United States, Canada and New Zealand.

About COMMON

COMMON is the world's largest users group of midrange IBM and IBM-compatible information technology users. The organization comprises more than 4,000 individual and corporate members. They represent more than 22,000 IT professionals involved with the IBM System i, OS/400 and related solutions.

About the IBM System I

The IBM System i is a tightly integrated business system including hardware, middleware, storage and security. The "all-in-one" System i platform embraces open standards and can run i5/OS, Windows(1), Linux and AIX 5L operating environments simultaneously so clients can simplify their IT environment and reinvest those savings in business innovation. Business partners and solutions providers of all sizes drive System i5 success by building, selling and deploying more than 7,000 of the world's most popular business applications for their clients on the System i family.

About IBM

IBM is the world's largest information technology company, with 80 years of leadership in helping businesses innovate. Drawing on resources from across IBM and key IBM Business Partners, IBM offers a wide range of services, solutions and technologies that enable customers, large and small, to take full advantage of the new era of on demand business. For more information about IBM, visit http://www.ibm.com.

Footnote:

1) The System i5 platform can run Microsoft Windows via an integrated Intel-based server option.

IBM, System i, and System i5 are trademarks or registered trademarks of International Business Machines Corporation. For a list of additional IBM trademarks, please see www.ibm.com/legal/copytrade.shtml

LINUX is a trademark of Linus Torvalds. All other names and trademarks are the property of their respective owners.

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