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..streamlines with RS/6000 and Netfinity server distribution
model..

20 January 1999

IBM today announced that alongside the significant AS/400
product enhancements which become available on 9th February,
it will significantly expand and enhance the route to market
for the AS/400 product set by placing the whole product line
into two tier distribution.

In line with recent directions in its channel strategy for
both high end Netfinity NT servers and the full range of
RS/6000 UNIX servers, IBM will expand the range of AS/400
product available via two tier distribution from the current
entry level servers to the full AS/400 product line.

This significant move is is designed to enable resellers to
source the ever popular AS/400 range of mid-range servers,
together with IBM's Netfinity NT servers and all associated
peripherals (including Storage, Networking, Printers and
Maintenance Services) from a single distributor. The
approach is modelled on the highly successful distribution
model for IBM's RS/6000 range of UNIX servers.

The new programme will give resellers equal access to AS/400
and PC server product and technical information, enabling
them to offer customers a greater choice, faster delivery
and better price performance.

The move reflects IBM's overall business goal of becoming a
single supplier of the multiple technology solutions
increasingly demanded by its resellers and end-user
customers alike, all available via a single source. Whilst
final dates for this move have yet to be confirmed,
resellers were notified of the planned changes late in 1998
and plans are well advanced with each of IBM's existing
value based server distributors here in the UK and
throughout Europe.

IBM's channel programme encourages both distributor and
reseller partners to invest in IBM skills to deliver full
IBM solutions for the benefit of the end user customer. IBM
Business Partners receive accreditation via both
certification for individual product lines and through the
IBM Centre of Excellence programme.

The IBM Centre of Excellence Accreditation Programme has
been designed to assess both the quality of technical
support and the business processes run by the partner.
Business Partner personnel need to undertake formal training
and certification in order to prove their ability to deliver
value. Once accredited, qualifying Business Partners can use
the Centre of Excellence award as a value-added mark of
distinction.

"As one of IBM's main business partners, Triangle welcomes
the new distribution model. The restructuring validates low
end AS/400s as direct competitors to the PC servers, which
is a very positive move towards changing market perceptions
of the AS/400," said Kevin Drew, Managing Director,
Triangle.

"We are pleased to be one of the initial distributors
involved in IBM's channel programme. The restructuring means
that we will now be able to offer our resellers
platform-agnostic information and advice" said Nicholas
Leech, Blue Channel Business Manager, Sphinx CST.

"A key to our success in the marketplace is a vital and
talented sales and solution delivery team. IBM has
recognised the need to ensure that every IBM business
partner has the skills necessary deliver a total IBM
Solution," said Kevin Bishop, Director of Distribution
Channels, IBM EMEA Northern Region. "This will supplement
IBM resources and ensure high levels of customer
satisfaction."

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