SOURCE: IBM

April 30, 2007 22:15 ET

IBM Honors Most Innovative System i Clients in Third Annual IT Innovation Awards

Winners Demonstrate Unique Implementations Involving Solution Innovation, IT Simplification, Business Resiliency, Education, and Community Support on the System i Platform

ANAHEIM, CA -- (MARKET WIRE) -- April 30, 2007 -- IBM (NYSE: IBM) and COMMON announced the six winners of its third annual IT Innovation Awards at COMMON, the System i user group conference where thousands of System i users gathered today. These clients were chosen for best-in-class, innovative uses of technology that deliver true benefits to their businesses.

The awards specifically showcased the achievements of clients who use IBM's "all-in-one" System i business computing platform to deliver IT innovation. The 2007 award winners are: Bank of America Foreign Items Systems, The Fashion Institute of Design & Merchandising (FIDM), Walt Disney World Co., FedEx Ground, Gateway Technical College and www.AngustheiTChap.com.

"For the third year, the Innovation Awards showcase System i innovations that help our clients succeed as well as deliver more value to their own customers," said Mark Shearer, IBM System i general manager. "Innovation is what the IBM System i is all about -- taking the very best technologies available and integrating them in a way that helps customers simplify their IT environment, reduce costs and fuel innovation in their businesses."

Here are the details of this year's winners:

--  Bank of America Foreign Items Systems, based in Toronto, successfully
    implemented a Service Oriented Architecture and Web services solution that
    provided a return on investment of over 385 percent and an estimated 32
    percent savings in operating cost after the first year. The solution,
    powered by System i, supports the integrated foreign currency banknote
    needs between Bank of America's Global Banknotes division and a top U.S.-
    based banking customer. Bank of America successfully integrated two
    disparate systems with transaction flow in real-time, enabling support for
    a network of over 2,000 branches and tens of thousands of tellers. The
    company has earned the award for Solution Innovation.
--  The Fashion Institute of Design & Merchandising (FIDM) migrated from a
    traditional telephone environment to an integrated VoIP environment based
    on the IBM, 3Com System i IP Telephony solution. FIDM significantly reduced
    telephone costs, consolidated voice and data applications onto one
    platform, and integrated a unified messaging system to include existing
    Lotus Notes e-mail and Genifax solutions. In the process, FIDM was able to
    replace expensive ATM lines and reduce six telephone private branch
    exchanges down to one using a Linux partition on the System i platform.
    FIDM has earned the award for Infrastructure Simplification.
--  Walt Disney World Co. used native i5/OS technology to modernize the
    user interface of a legacy application that controlled the front desk
    cashier check-in and check-out procedure across 27 Walt Disney World
    resorts. The modernized, Web-based application improved front desk cashier
    productivity and reduced training costs at the resorts. Walt Disney World
    Co. has earned the award for i5/OS Focus.
--  FedEx Ground developed a high availability and disaster recovery
    solution for a multiple System i environment in order to keep service to
    its customers continuously available, providing the speed and efficiency
    needed to accomplish high volume package sorting and vehicle and contractor
    management. Now, FedEx Ground has the capability of supporting field
    operations continuously in the event of system outages. FedEx Ground has
    earned the award for Business Resiliency.
--  Gateway Technical College, in Wisconsin, brought together the local
    System i user group with current students to increase job opportunities for
    graduating students and to educate businesses of the latest System i tools
    and technology. James E. Buck, an IT System i programming instructor,
    identified an untapped opportunity for Gateway Technical College, which has
    had an IBM Midrange Programmer/Analyst program for 15 years. The program
    developed evening and one-day seminars; created an advisory board with
    recruited local professionals to help design the System i curriculum; and
    created networking opportunities for students. Gateway Technical College
    has earned the award for Education Excellence.
--  Angus the iT Chap is devoted to the System i platform and its
    community, with a blog as well as a Web site that collects marketing ideas,
    encouraging others to become more vocal and public about their own passion
    for the System i. Created and led by Trevor Perry -- an IBM System i
    consultant, IT strategist, industry and motivational speaker who has made
    countless contributions to the System i community -- AngustheiTChap.com has
    earned the award for Community Support.
    

"COMMON and IBM are very pleased to recognize outstanding customer achievements by honoring innovation in businesses and data centers where users are finding new ways to deliver even greater value using IBM System i," said Randy Dufault, COMMON board president.

The winners and finalists, honored this evening at an awards ceremony hosted by Mark Shearer, IBM System i general manager, and Randy Dufault, 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 and Canada.

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, i5/OS and related solutions.

About IBM

For more information about IBM, visit www.ibm.com. For more about System i, visit www.ibm.com/systemi.

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