May 22, 2006 19:30 ET

IBM Unlocks Business Data for 5,500 Information Integration Solutions Clients

One Year Later, Acquisition of Ascential Software Drives Momentum

ARMONK, NY -- (MARKET WIRE) -- May 22, 2006 -- IBM today announced that more than 5,500 clients have chosen the company's information integration software to integrate, enrich and analyze business data, helping drive growth initiatives, reduce business risk and improve operational efficiency.

One year after the strategic acquisition of Ascential Software, IBM is rapidly adding new clients and capitalizing on emerging opportunities with a growing lineup of clients across all industries who have tapped IBM Information Integration Solutions to leverage trusted information across their enterprise. The expanding lineup of clients includes: AAA Auto Club South, Aetna, Altair France, Ashland Oil, Bank of America, Health Care Service Corporation, Kraft, LexisNexis, Michelin, Newell Rubbermaid, State Street Bank and UBS.

"With the addition of the Ascential suite of products, IBM did a nice job of putting together an information integration solution that built upon previous investments we had made in this area," said Mike Petrilli, SVP, AAA Auto Club South. "We have significantly improved our data integration capabilities resulting in more responsive and effective delivery of functionality supporting our customer relationship strategies. By better integrating our customer data, we can enable each interaction with AAA Members to be more relevant."

Many of these clients are turning to IBM to deploy an enterprise-wide information integration infrastructure to help them better leverage their heterogeneous information assets for initiatives such as master data management, data governance and information warehouses. This growth and business momentum resulting from IBM's acquisition of Ascential software demonstrates that clients are embracing the company's integrated offerings and extensive expertise in leveraging information on demand.

IBM recently increased its commitment to helping clients better compete in the global economy with a $1 billion investment over three years aimed at enabling uninhibited access to accurate, reliable and trustworthy business information. The company's Information Integration Solutions unit is a cornerstone of this initiative, providing the technology that allows companies to quickly understand, integrate, and ensure the quality of heterogeneous enterprise information -- delivering it on demand to any application, process or user.

"As customers increasingly understand the strategic importance of information in enabling business innovation, they are turning to IBM to help them meet their urgent business needs," said Pete Fiore, vice president, Information Integration Solutions, IBM. "We've had a record year across the entire Information Integration product and services portfolio including competitive displacements, enterprise deployments, and growing deal sizes. Our broad portfolio of solutions, coupled with increased R&D investments and consulting expertise will continue to help clients extract new value from their business information and achieve their changing business goals."

IBM information integration middleware integrates and reconciles information from various applications and sources across a services-oriented architecture. This capability gives decision-makers access to knowledge once locked away in a data center, providing the confidence they need to make strategic, innovative business decisions. It provides consistent, timely and complete information to improve business processes and operations. It also enables organizations to leverage existing information assets more effectively and better incorporate disparate internal and external information sources, providing a seamless flow of all forms of information regardless of format, platform or location.

Gartner, Inc. recently positioned IBM in the leaders quadrant in its Magic Quadrant for Data Quality Tools, 2006.*

IBM data quality middleware, IBM WebSphere QualityStage and IBM WebSphere ProfileStage, helps ensure data quality and consistency by standardizing, validating, matching and merging information to create comprehensive and authoritative information for multiple uses.

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* Magic Quadrant for Data Quality Tools, 2006, April 21, 2006. Ted Friedman and Andreas Bitterer.

The Magic Quadrant is copyrighted April 21, 2006 by Gartner, Inc. and is reused with permission. The Magic Quadrant is a graphical representation of a marketplace at and for a specific time period. It depicts Gartner's analysis of how certain vendors measure against criteria for that marketplace, as defined by Gartner. Gartner does not endorse any vendor, product or service depicted in the Magic Quadrant, and does not advise technology users to select only those vendors placed in the "Leaders" quadrant. The Magic Quadrant is intended solely as a research tool, and is not meant to be a specific guide to action. Gartner disclaims all warranties, express or implied, with respect to this research, including any warranties of merchantability or fitness for a particular purpose.

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