June 09, 2005 16:00 ET

YKK AP and IBM Japan Sign 10-Year IT Management Contract

ARMONK, NY and TOKYO -- (MARKET WIRE) -- June 9, 2005 -- YKK AP Inc., a world leader in the manufacture of aluminum building products, and IBM Japan, Ltd. have signed a ten-year contract, commencing in July, to create a strategic partnership around the management of YKK AP's systems operations and maintenance.

YKK AP expects to reduce the cost of its operation by some three billion yen over the ten-year period by optimally allocating IT employees and systems resources, increasing the speed of its operations and streamlining costs.

In recent years, the Japanese construction industry has been going through a period of change, precipitated by the need to overcome environmental and energy-related problems; the need for standardized and universal designs; and the need to prevent crime in the construction industry. In response to these challenges, YKK AP is transforming its business models to create added value and quality. The company has formed a partnership with IBM Japan to develop and implement advanced IT strategies that are essential to its transformation to these new business models.

YKK AP has positioned information technology (IT) as one of its most important management strategies and has revamped its mission-critical processes. The company will hand the management of its system operations and maintenance to IBM Japan to raise the level and efficiency of its IT operations and keep pace with the changing business environment.

The partnership with IBM will enable YKK AP to focus on its IT division, upgrading its planning capabilities while utilizing IBM Japan's global expertise to develop and implement advanced IT strategies. Through this partnership, YKK AP will also strengthen its systems development areas to implement new IT strategies and ensure a high level of quality and efficiency in systems operation.

IT employees from YKK AP and IBM Japan will be transferred to IBM Japan Industrial Solution Co., Ltd. (iiSC), a wholly owned subsidiary of IBM Japan. By combining the know-how of both firms, YKK AP expects benefits including increasing the skill levels of both companies' IT employees.

About YKK AP

Founded more than a quarter century ago, the architectural products business of YKK is today a world leader in the manufacture of aluminum building products. The Architectural Products Business Group manufactures YKK AP brand products, and does business in Japan and Asia as well as in the United States and Brazil. The YKK AP brand aims to increase the value of buildings with entrance and window systems that offer quality, diversity, and uniqueness, based on the wide-ranging know-how it has accumulated through major projects around the world.

About IBM Global Services

IBM Global Services is the world's largest information technology services and consulting provider. Some 190,000 professionals in more than 160 countries help clients integrate information technology with business value -- from the business transformation and industry expertise of IBM Business Consulting Services to hosting, infrastructure, technology design and training services. IBM Global Services delivers integrated, flexible and resilient processes across companies and through business partners, enabling clients to save money and transform their businesses to be more competitive. For more information, visit

Contact Information