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IBM Unveils New E-Business Site, Tools

IBM this week announced a new Web site that will enable customers to purchase the entire spectrum of IBM Personal Systems Group products via the Internet, and a supplementary range of e-business tools geared for the personal systems product family.

Based on input from nearly 20 customer focus groups in five countries, IBM said the site is designed to provide one integrated environment for every step in the purchasing process--from sales assistance to ordering custom- configured products to technical support.

The site, launching April 21, will feature the entire line of IBM PSG products, including Think Pads, Netfinity, Commercial Desktop, IntelliStation, Options and Monitors.

The resource is designed to allow users to choose a navigation experience that meets their individual needs whether browsing, buying a product, or getting support.

For example, customers who know exactly what they want can navigate directly to product specifications and pricing. Other users can choose to view at-a- glance comparisons of specific product families, such as ThinkPad or Netfinity. Customers can also opt for IBM's automated sales assistant.

"The site is a key part of our focus on e-business. It marks a major shift towards delivering on customers' interests rather than just serving up what the PC vendor wants to get across," said Dave Thomas, senior vice president and group executive, IBM PSG.

The site also provides links to IBM Business Partners for rapid order fulfillment. To find the Business Partner nearest them, customers can use IBM's online dealer locator with a convenient mapping function, or choose to call IBM's 800 number.

CDW, Comark, CompUSA Direct, Insight, and Microwarehouse are the initial participating Business Partners, with additional partners such as CompuCom, Computer City, and Inacom expected to join within the next few months.

Separately, IBM rolled out a broad range of new "e-business tools" designed to help businesses large and small use the Internet and networked personal systems to gain a competitive advantage.

The new tools cover the entire family of personal systems products, including Netfinity servers, IntelliStation professional workstations, PC 300 desktop computers, ThinkPad notebooks, PC monitors, networking hardware, and storage solutions.

The tools include servers; hard disk/tape drive solutions; the IntelliStation M Pro, which fosters collaboration over the Web; a PC based on Intel's BX core chip set; new monitors; an enhanced IBM WorkPad PC Companion, with increased memory and wireless connectivity; and "packaged" e-business network solutions from IBM's Networking Hardware Division for Web hosting and multi-site connectivity.