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Ideal Hardware, a wholly owned subsidiary of Bell Microproducts Inc, today unveiled significant improvements in BORIS® DEALER, the e-service for customers launched by Ideal last year (www.myboris.com). BORIS® DEALER allows any Ideal customer the ability to actively manage their whole relationship with Ideal from pre-sales activities such as, real-time price and availability and product comparisons, to post-sales activities including delivery information and account status. It provides the reseller community with a whole suite of real-time services designed to save time and money.

“We have responded to the comments made by our customers and have expanded our e-service offering,” says Alex Tatham, commercial director at Ideal. “We aim to provide the best possible service we can and to do this means we are continually upgrading BORIS® DEALER to make it easier and more convenient to use.”

One new aspect of BORIS® DEALER is its facility to suggest alternative products to customers if the product they request is no longer available. “Nothing is more frustrating than, having made a decision on what to buy, the product is not available,” says Karl Harris, head of e-services. “BORIS® DEALER can suggest products that will also suit a customer’s requirements.” Other upgrades include:

· Account review functionality now allows up to 24 different reports to be ordered by a customer. The information on specific issues is then e-mailed to customers regarding account balances and credit limits

· To assist with bought ledger accounting, customers can view all open and closed invoices separately

· Customers can now elect to take part delivery of allocated back ordered items to avoid waiting for complete fulfilment of the order. Customers can also track the status of back ordered items

· Searching is now much more precise with the introduction of drop downs for each product type attribute. For example finding a 10Gb hard drive with a SCSI interface is now even easier.

· Large price and availability requests or order requests can be exported to BORIS® DEALER via a spreadsheet saved as a CSV file. As a simple cut and paste up to 50 part codes can be added at any one time.

“Our service is evolving all the time,” says Alex Tatham. “We currently have 2,000 log ins every day checking price and availability and the number of orders we receive on the system is steadily improving. In such a competitive market, Ideal can drive down prices and build value added relationships on-line.”



For further information please contact:
Grace Beesley

Ideal Hardware

020 8286 5000

gbeesley@ideal.co.uk


Sharon Smith

Ideal Press Office

020 7375 3633

ssmith@metro-media.co.uk


Editor’s Note:

Ideal Hardware Limited www.ideal.co.uk, the wholly owned subsidiary of US based Bell Microproducts Inc., is a leading UK based value-added, storage-centric distributor focusing on the high end of the storage market. Ideal is also a leading distributor of Compaq servers, PCs and storage products and is one of only 12 Compaq distributors worldwide to be awarded the prestigious CIP accreditation for high-end products. Ideal has strategic relationships with approximately 80 suppliers of Enterprise storage, computer systems, software and media products. These strategic products are packaged with Ideal’s value-added programmes and services to provide complete NAS, SAS and SAN solutions.

Bell Microproducts Inc is an international value-added provider of a wide range of high technology products, solutions, and services to the industrial and commercial marketplace. The company's offering includes semiconductors, computer platforms, peripherals, and storage products of various types including desktop, high-end computer and storage subsystems, fibre channel connectivity products, RAID, NAS and SAN storage systems and back-up products. Bell Microproducts is an industry-recognized specialist in storage products and is one of the world's largest storage-centric value-added distributors. The company's products are available at any level of integration from components, to subsystem assemblies, to fully integrated, tested and certified system solutions. The company adds value with a broad range of services including testing, software loading, kitting, mass storage system integration, and computer system integration. Trained and certified technical personnel complete each of these processes at Bell Microproducts' ISO 9002 facilities. Bell Microproducts markets and distributes more than 150 brand name product lines, as well as its own BellStor storage and Trademark(R) computer brands, to original equipment manufacturers (OEMs), contract electronic manufacturing services (EMS) customers, value-added resellers (VARs) and system integrators in the Americas and Europe. More information can be found in SEC filings, or by visiting the Bell Microproducts Web site at http://www.bellmicro.com


Note: This release may contain forward-looking statements within the meaning of the U.S. Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. Such forward-looking statements, which reflect the Company's current views of future events and financial performance, involve known and unknown risks and uncertainties which could cause actual results or facts to differ materially from such statements for a variety of reasons including, but not limited to: the ability to successfully integrate the operations of recent acquisitions, industry conditions, changes in product supply, pricing, and customer demand, competition, other vagaries in the computer and electronic components markets, changes in relationships with key suppliers, foreign currency fluctuations and the other risks and information described from time to time in the company's reports to the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (including the company's Annual Report on Form 10-K and Current Reports on Form 8-K regardi!
ng this and other transactions). Investors should take such risks into account when making investment decisions. Shareholders and other readers are cautioned not to place undue reliance on these forward-looking statements, which speak only as of the date on which they are made. The company undertakes no obligation to update publicly or revise any forward-looking statements.

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