IBM Inks Fuji eServer Deal

IBM has inked a multi-million dollar pact to install
Intel-based servers to power in-store kiosks and photo lab systems for
digital photography firm Fuji .

Big Blue’s announced its eServer systems and PCs would be installed in
thousands of Fujifilm’s Frontier Digital Labs throughout the United States
to enable the delivery of a wide range of photographic, digital and online
services.

Each Fuji frontier would use an IBM eServer x220 running Microsoft Windows
2000. In addition, IBM’s Global Services division gets to provide the
hardware,
engineering and integration of the components that allow the Frontier to be
connected to a retailer’s computer network.

Once the installations are complete, the IBM eServer x220 would allow the
Digital Lab Systems to accept multiple input sources — film, prints,
slides, negatives or digital media – and output them to Fujicolor CDs,
floppy disks and Zip drives. IBM said the Frontier Digital Lab Systems also
be used to upload images to Fuji’s Web
site
.

Fujifilm will also purchase IBM NetVista M41 PCs for its Aladdin Digital
Photo Center.

With an upsurge in the use of digital cameras in the U.S., IBM said the deal
clears the way for its eServer technology to be extended to the consumer
sector.

IBM, which competes with Dell Computer and
Hewlett-Packard in the Intel server market, said the Fuji
client win would accelerate its push into the e-business industry.

In the deal with Fuji, IBM is installing two types of photofinishing
equipment into retail stores: Fujifilm’s Frontier Digital Lab System,
described as a
full-service digital mini-lab offering a complete range of photographic,
digital and online services; and the Aladdin Digital Photo Center, a
self-service imaging kiosk.

Fuji’s Frontier Digital Lab Systems are already plugged into blue chip
retailers like Costco, Eckerd Drugs, Walgreens and Wal-Mart.

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