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..£1 million pound investment provides employees with
immediate access to paper communication with customers..

Leading financial services specialist, Scottish Widows, has
invested a further £1 million in IBM's ATM technology,
following a £2 million investment in December '97, at its
headquarters in Port Hamilton, Edinburgh. The new network
was implemented at the Client Services operation at its
Dalkeith Road office, Edinburgh, in Q4 '98. By Q3 '99, over
1,000 employees will use the network to access Scottish
Widows' new Image Workflow system in conjunction with its
advanced Call Centre capacity and core systems, to enhance
its ability to access customer documentation.

The Client Services division of Scottish Widows, which has
now held its Independent Financial Advisor Five Star award
for Service for three years in succession, carries out all
aspects of contract administration and most contact with
protection, pension and investment customers.


Ian Scott, IT Customer Services Centre Manager, states, "The
new Image Workflow system will allow all paper customer
communications to be scanned onto the network, which will
mean instant access to electronic images of correspondence
and files, where previously we had to depend on the movement
of paper.

In conjunction with our call centres and mainframe systems,
the new technology will allow our back office operations to
provide faster access to customer records. Given the growth
in Scottish Widows' business over the last two years,
workflow and imaging will allow us to handle the greater
volume more efficiently."

The payments department of the Client Services division,
responsible for the payment of claims on pension and life
policies, has over 110 staff and will be the first to
utilise the new Image Workflow system in early 1999. The
system will then be rolled out in stages throughout 1999 to
the rest of the Client Services operation.

Scott adds, "The movement of images demands a robust,
resilient and high-bandwidth network. ATM has the speed and
bandwidth we required for an Image Workflow system. And,
following the success of the Port Hamilton network, ATM
proved to be the best technology to fit these requirements."

The project, identical to Scottish Widow's Port Hamilton
site, includes thirty 8260 multiprotocol intelligent
switching hubs, with one 8272 Nways Token-Ring switch
installed in each hub. There are two core 8265 Nways ATM
switches, along with two of IBM's award-winning 8210 Nways
multiprotocol switch services (MSS) servers. The 8210 MSS
server attaches to campus ATM switches (in this case the
8260) to provide a high-performance multiprotocol backbone.
This maximises the effectiveness of the existing network,
while positioning Scottish Widows for the demanding
high-speed, low-delay applications of the future.

Scott added, "Following the successful network
implementation at the Port Hamilton building, we chose to
work again with IBM and its Business Partner Comparex, to
supply and implement the network. Their technical expertise
and support provided significant savings in terms of time
and resource, and guaranteed a smooth implementation at
Scottish Widows."

Adrian Kohn, Northern Regional Business Manager, IBM
Networking Systems, states of the recent project, "A year
ago, following the successful Port Hamilton implementation,
IBM knew Scottish Widows was considering deploying
high-bandwidth applications throughout the organisation. The
Image Workflow applications Scottish Widows wanted to use
created the need for an additional ATM network
infrastructure. IBM is proud to be able to provide the
technology to enhance Scottish Widows customer services well
into the next millennium."

About Scottish Widows

Scottish Widows was founded in 1815as Scotland's first
mutual life office. Based in Edinburgh, Scottish Widows is
now the UK's 5th largest provider of pensions, life and unit
trust products, and employs over 2000 people. Proud of its
mutual and independent status, Scottish Widows is renowned
for its formidable financial strength. The company currently
provides benefits for more than a million policy holders and
has funds under management of over £29 billion.

About IBM Networking Systems

IBM Networking Systems is a full service networking
supplier, offering a complete range of equipment and
services to build, operate and manage networks, regardless
of size, platform or protocol. The acknowledged leader in
high-speed networking, IBM has an ATM product portfolio
ranging from workstation adapters to multi-gigabit capacity
switches for public carrier networks. IBM Networking Systems
is a business unit of IBM United Kingdom Ltd, based at New
Square, Bedfont Lakes, Feltham, Middx, TW14 8HB. Tel: 0181
818 4454. Fax: 0181 818 5494.

Information on IBM Networking products can be found on the
company's World Wide Web site at
http://www.networking.ibm.com. This release and other
information from IBM are available electronically on
NEWSdesk, the online IT news network. If you are not
currently accessing the service, it can be reached on the
Internet at http:// www.newsdesk.com, or dial-up software
can be obtained by calling +44 (0)115 9 405300

About Comparex

Comparex Holdings is a group of Information and
Communication Technology businesses which provides
unrivalled solutions to its customers. Its areas of business
are: networks, systems, services, security, E-commerce and
technologies. The Comparex Holdings' network integration
business is widely represented in every European country
through: Telemation, ComTech, Nomea, Datelec and Comparex
subsidiaries. Comparex's customers in the United Kingdom
include major organisations in retailing, banking and
finance, such as Safeway, Tesco Stores Plc, Marks & Spencer
Financial Services.

In September 1998, Comparex Holdings acquired Anixter
Communication & Integration (ACI), the global networking
integrator and European arm of Anixter's worldwide
networking division. Comparex Holdings currently employs
7000 people on a worldwide basis. Its revenues in 1997/98
were 700 million Euros.

Ref: 99/020

For more information about IBM Networking Systems, please
contact:
Greg Mills /Tara Lucas (For IBM)
Tel: 01753 790700
gmills/tlucas@brodeuraplus.com

Or:

Inge Lauble
IBM Networking Systems
+49 7034 153 293
ilauble@vnet.ibm.com

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