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- Independent, Interactive, Multimedia Web-Based Service for
IT Decision Makers -

IT Network today announces a new multimedia web-based
service to support the UK and European IT industry. To be
launched in May 1999, the IT Network aims to become the
leading provider of independent, product-related information
for the IT decision-maker. It will do this by offering an
environment within which manufacturers and resellers will
provide IT professionals with the information they need to
make informed business decisions. A comprehensive service of
this kind has not previously been available to the IT

The IT Network has been created following extensive research
in conjunction with The Boston Consulting Group, the leading
strategy consulting firm, with manufacturers, resellers and
end-users. The research identified that there is a critical
need within the IT industry for an independent product
information service. It also found that, while several
competitors offer print media or online comparison services,
the opportunity remains for a differentiated UK-based
service because the current offerings do not meet the needs
of IT professionals. Existing services are generally
consumer focused or form part of a broadline comparison
service; they are not comprehensive across product
categories; are not easily navigable; and lack content

James Wickes, chief executive, IT Network, says, "The
provision of high quality IT product and service information
for decision-makers continues to be a pressing and hitherto
unsatisfied requirement of corporate IT professionals. The
IT Network will bridge this gap."

The IT Network meets the currently unmet information needs
of IT professionals and resellers, by providing:

- An independent and comprehensive online directory of

- A powerful online product comparator

- Relevant and comprehensive editorial content, delivered in
online, multimedia and print-based format

- Personalisation and local focus within a global service.

The service also meets the marketing needs of manufacturers
and resellers through access to a high quality audience of
IT decision-makers in the information gathering and buying
cycle via rich multimedia and interactive content.

Critical to the success of the IT Network is the database
and web technology driving the Internet service. The web
site has been created by Cromwell Media Ltd, the Internet
software development company,using BladeRunner - its suite
of software that provides a true 'client-server' environment
over the web. BladeRunner allows customised publication on
the Internet of complex database content such as data, large
texts, images, sound or video. This is supported by a
powerful reporting capacity providing detailed statistical
information as to user activity in the web site.

"The IT Network will be a well designed and researched 'must
see'service for the professional IT purchaser and
consequently a 'must display' service to the IT supply
channel," says Alastair Laidlaw, managing director, IT
Network. "We will provide end-users with context and
perspective as well as detail via third party contribution,
such as comments from IT analysts, product reviews and
customer references. And, we will also provide IT
manufacturers and resellers with a targeted approach to
promoting their products and services to end users."

End-users have consistently expressed significant interest
in IT Network's service. As one IT development manager from
a large corporate says, "What I would like is an online
'Which?' magazine for computers. I really need to understand
the technical options and compare products, features and

And, it is not only end-users that have shown an interest in
the service, "A significant number of the IT manufacturers
and resellers we have spoken to see the IT Network as a
great opportunity to improve their understanding of, and
communication with, end-users," adds Wickes.

A managing director from a leading hardware manufacturer
agrees, "No vendor has done anything above an appalling job
in terms of understanding end-users. This service will
provide vendors with the opportunity to benefit from regular
interaction with the end-users whilst also providing us with
a unbiased forum in which to promote our products and

IT professionals will be invited for free registration to
the IT Network during the pre-launch period via press,
direct mail and telemarketing campaigns. Alternatively,
potential users can contact the IT Network on 0181 286 5050,
by e-mail to or via the web at

IT Network

The IT Network is an independent, multimedia online product
information service for the UK and European IT supply
channel. Within the IT Network, IT manufacturers and
resellers will be able to promote their products and
services and IT buyers will be able to make informed product
and technology decisions. For more information on the IT
Network call 0181 286 5050, or e-mail
or access the web at


The InterX group aims to provide value to all levels of the
IT channel. InterX was created in response to the
ever-increasing demands that Ideal Hardware plc, the Group's
core data storage distribution company, was receiving from
both its customers and suppliers to offer services that had
been developed to support its own business model to an
external market. InterX's three subsidiaries are Ideal
Hardware, UniSolve and IT Network.

The Boston Consulting Group

The Boston Consulting Group is the international leader and
widely recognised pioneer in strategy consulting. Few
consulting firms in the world today have concentrated as
thoroughly on understanding business competition and helping
client companies develop and implement strategies to succeed
in the most competitive markets. Founded in 1963, BCG today
has 2,000 consultants and 3,300 staff in total, working out
of 45 offices in major cities around the world.

This press release was distributed by ResponseSource Press Release Wire on behalf of Pleon in the following categories: Consumer Technology, Personal Finance, Business & Finance, Computing & Telecoms, for more information visit