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IBM, Invensys Announce Alliance

IBM and Invensys plc, are forming a worldwide strategic alliance to deliver e-business solutions that will link plant floor, sensor-based applications to enterprise information systems, customers and suppliers. The two companies will target manufacturers that produce individual products such as airplanes, automobiles, electronics and other fabricated devices.

The two companies will jointly market a suite of Invensys Internet-enabled B2B, enterprise and shop floor products including: the iBaan series, Wonderware Factory Suite, CAPS Logistics, and Invensys CRM product lines, all of which will be bundled with IBM's eServers.

Both companies will also work together on joint solutions focused on using IBM's WebSphere products as the "glue" to link the plant floor with existing enterprise and B2B applications. This integration will provide manufacturing organizations with a factory automation tool enhancing information flow and manufacturing efficiency.

The agreement extends an existing relationship between IBM Global Services and Baan, a global provider of B2B collaborative commerce solutions that is part of the Herndon, Va.-based Invensys Software Systems division. IBM has fielded implementation factories for Baan in Denmark and Atlanta since 1998, providing rapid customization of Baan applications and server set-up prior to actual delivery. Currently more than 1,000 IBM consultants worldwide provide integration service offerings for Baan's application suite for customers such as Mercedes-Benz US, Inc., Boeing and Solectron.

IBM Global Services has done significant development work linking Lotus Notes and DB2 and Baan solutions. iBaan was the first enterprise application to ship on the IBM zSeries eServer. Additional services from IBM and Invensys under the new alliance include the expansion of the IBM Global Services and IBM Global Financing offerings, which provide new Invensys customers a financing option for their software and services acquisitions.

"Today manufacturers are demanding real-time, read-and-react capabilities to compress cycle times, reduce inventories, squeeze costs and eliminate inefficiencies from the value chain," said Steve Ward, general Manager, IBM Global Industrial Sector. "IBM's scalable, always-on e-business infrastructure, combined with Invensys' leading suite of applications, provides manufacturers with 360 degree views of their processes from the boardroom to the plant floor - creating the fully collaborative manufacturing environments they require."

The Invensys Software Systems Division focuses on delivering integrated automation, information and supply chain solutions to businesses across a broad spectrum of process, discrete and hybrid manufacturing industries. These comprehensive software/hardware/service solutions enhance manufacturing agility to provide measurable business performance improvements.