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IBM Ireland has won a contract to supply a solution to Vodafone which will allow Vodafone's Irish customers to easily access enterprise e-mail and calendar systems from their mobile phone or hand held devices. Vodafone’s GPRS and GSM customers will benefit from the new value-added service, piloted in Ireland and expected to officially launch in Autumn 2002, which will address the increasing need for anytime, anywhere access to company information. This innovative solution is ideal for the Irish marketplace because it can be implemented by both small to medium sized businesses right up to the largest enterprise customers, meaning that Vodafone can now bring the benefits of mobile e-mail access to business customers of all sizes.

Following a successful trial period, IBM and the mobile software company Smartner Information Systems Ltd. were selected by Vodafone, in a competitive win, as the product and implementation team of choice. A working trial of the mobile e-mail solution was evaluated by over 50 members of Vodafone Ireland, including Sales Teams and Senior Management, over a period of three weeks. This resulted in strong endorsement, and the decision to offer the service to Vodafone Ireland customers.

Paul Farrell, Principal, IBM Business Innovation Services said, “This solution covers both Lotus Domino and Microsoft Exchange Server environments and requires no additional hardware or software at the customer location, reducing integration time and cost for the customer. It has tremendous development opportunities for the future. Most importantly it enables companies of all sizes to take advantage of a secure mobile technology which delivers real benefit and efficiency”.

Within IBM, the solution was developed jointly by IBM Ireland’s Global Services Division in partnership with IBM 'Mobile Partner Innovation Centre' team in Helsinki, Finland. While initially focusing on an e-mail-based application, the ability to draw on extensive feature-based applications, such as ERP and CRM, will also be catered for by Vodafone in the future.

“To Smartner, Vodafone represents a highly dynamic and innovative operator in a very attractive mobile market. IBM in turn has brought in their local knowledge and extensive worldwide experience. The joint solution brings the added value of mobile office access to Irish companies and their mobile employees,” comments Ari Backholm, Vice President of Business Development, Smartner.

Smartner supplied a hosted mobile office solution, providing a fully secure wireless connection, consisting of mobile e-mail, calendar, tasks, contacts and group messaging with multi-device access, which is run on IBM’s WebSphere Everyplace platform.

Lorraine McGrath, Product Manager, Vodafone Ireland, comments, “Vodafone chose IBM and Smartner due to the extensive functionality, ease-of-use and quick deployment afforded by the solution they delivered. The fact that the solution is platform independent means we can meet the varying needs of all our Business Customers. Due to the earlier success of an internal trial, we now intend to roll the service out to our mobile work force – sales and field engineers, as well Senior Management. This solution, exclusive to Vodafone customers, will be launched as ‘Vodafone EmailAnywhere’ under the ‘WorkAnywhere’ portfolio, this autumn.”

Editors Notes:

Vodafone Ireland

Vodafone is Ireland’s leading mobile phone operator with a base of over 1.7 million customers and a total of 1,500 employees. Vodafone holds 58% of the market share in Ireland. On May 11, 2001 the Irish company officially became a subsidiary of the Vodafone Group plc, the largest mobile telecommunications company in the world. The Vodafone Group has interests in mobile networks in 28 countries across five continents and as over 100 million customers worldwide. For more information about Vodafone Ireland visit http://www.vodafone.ie

About IBM

IBM is the world's largest information technology company, with more than 80 years of leadership in helping businesses innovate. Drawing on resources from across IBM and key business partners, IBM offers a wide range of services, solutions and technologies that enable customers, large and small, to take full advantage of e-business. For more information about IBM please visit http://www.ibm.com

About IBM in Ireland

The IBM Corporation first started operations in Ireland in 1956 and now employs over 4,000 people in Ireland, including 500 people from our subsidiary Lotus. This makes IBM one of the largest multinational employers in Ireland. Besides a growing Sales and Services business, IBM has extensive manufacturing facilities based in Mulhuddart, Co Dublin, a large telesales and support centre operation in Ballycoolin, Co Dublin, an International Solutions Unit based in our city centre offices and a Corporate Treasury Centre located at Custom House Docks in Dublin's International Financial Services Centre. For more information about IBM in Ireland, visit http://www.ibm.com/ie

About Smartner

Smartner Information Systems Ltd. is a Finnish software and professional services company specializing in mobile business solutions. With Smartner's office and database solutions, operators and service providers can quickly and efficiently offer a comprehensive portfolio of mobile data services to their enterprise customers. Smartner has three Vodafone operators as its customers in Finland, Switzerland and Ireland. For more information about Smartner please visit http://www.smartner.com

For further press information contact:

Deirdre Kennedy
IBM Media Relations
Phone +353 1 815 2117
E-mail: kennedy@ie.ibm.com

Niamh Boylan / Frances Keane (in Ireland)
Text 100 Public Relations
Phone +353 1 2600 353
E-mail: niamh.boylan@text100.ie / frances.keane@text100.ie

Caroline Howlett / Bronwyn Winley (in the UK)
Nelson Bostock Communications
Phone +44 20 7229 4400
E-mail: caroline.howlett@nelsonbostock.com / bronwyn.winley@nelsonbostock.com

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