SOURCE: IBM

April 22, 2005 12:00 ET

IBM and the Israel Ministry of Industry, Trade and Labor Join Forces to Accelerate Open Standards Adoption and Collaboration Between Israeli Start-Ups and IBM

Provides Technology and Development Support for Israeli Start-Up Companies Committed to Developing Open, On Demand Business Solutions

TEL AVIV, ISRAEL -- (MARKET WIRE) -- April 22, 2005 -- IBM and the Chief Scientist of the Israel Ministry of Industry, Trade and Labor today announced a strategic collaboration agreement which will help accelerate the adoption of open standards based solutions in Israel, among others. IBM is a leading supplier of technology and development support to Israeli start-up companies, enabling them to more quickly develop and deploy On Demand solutions based on IBM's open software and hardware technology.

According to the agreement, IBM will grant Israeli start-up companies a range of benefits including dedicated technical, marketing and sales support, as well as business development and consultancy resources to help them more easily become On Demand businesses -- allowing companies to deploy, optimize and develop customized solutions based on IBM's open technology. As a result, Israeli business partners can go to market faster, while reducing development costs.

The agreement is part of the Ministry of Industry, Trade and Labor's industrial R&D cooperation program, which aims to connect Israeli start-ups with multinational companies to help them grow their business and increase competitive advantage. IBM is the largest technology company to establish a formal relationship with the Ministry of Industry, Trade and Labor.

As part of the agreement, IBM and the Chief Scientist will jointly select ISVs who are focused on developing innovative and on demand solutions based on emerging technologies areas such as RFID, grid and autonomic computing and Linux.

Projects implemented within this framework, and which meet the criteria set by the Chief Scientist, will be eligible for financial support which will fund part of the R&D costs of Israeli companies that cooperate with IBM. IBM will provide a wide range of technology, marketing and sales resources to help ISVs enable their applications on IBM's open infrastructure and accelerate time to market, including:

--  Technology Enablement: Access to the IBM Innovation Center in Petach-
    Tikva, where technical consultants will provide ISVs with hands-on
    assistance to develop, port, test and validate open solutions on IBM
    hardware and software. IBM also hosts workshops and technical seminars at
    the Innovation Center that cover a wide range of topics to help ISVs keep
    development skills and technology advancements up to date and integrated
    into their solutions.
--  Sales and Marketing: IBM will dedicate staff to guide the ISVs through
    the technology enablement process, provide them with marketing support
    resources such as lead generation and advertising campaigns, and help link
    them with the appropriate sales and go-to-market channels, both local and
    international.
--  Business Development: IBM will work with the ISVs to structure and
    build their business partner network and relationships.
    
"By teaming with IBM, we are providing innovative Israeli companies with access to technology expertise and extensive sales and marketing resources -- all of which are crucial to their success," said Ehud Olmert, Vice-Prime Minister, Minister of Industry, Trade and Labor, Israel. "We are working with IBM to help drive open technology adoption and development of innovative, on demand business solutions that will help Israeli companies grow and flourish," said Dr. Eli Opper the Chief Scientist of the Ministry of Industry, Trade and Labor.

IBM Global Technology Unit

The IBM Global Technology Unit (GTU) in Israel was founded three years ago to help Israeli high-tech companies succeed, both locally and abroad. The objective of the GTU is to develop and help establish a new generation of ISV's who are going to market with open standards based solutions based on IBM technology by providing them with technical support and sales assistance. Since its inception, the GTU has worked with over 700 Israeli companies and has established formal relationships with more than 150 businesses.

"Collaborating with the Israel Ministry of Industry, Trade and Labor will help us drive open and innovative solution development among the Israeli ISV community," said Buell Duncan, general manager, ISV & Developer Relations, IBM. "Israel is the second largest source of innovation outside of the US, and IBM is committed to providing ISVs with the broadest range of resources to help them grow and better serve joint customers."

About IBM

With 80 years of leadership in helping businesses innovate, IBM is the world's largest information technology company. IBM is a leading provider of e-business solutions and is dedicated to helping companies, business partners and developers leverage the potential of the Internet and network computing across a wide range of businesses and industries. The company offers a host of cross-industry and industry specific solutions designed to meet the needs of companies of all sizes. For more information on partnering with IBM, please visit: www.ibm.com/isv.

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