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IBM Opens CRM Center of Excellence for SaaS

September 18, 2008

IBM (NYSE: IBM) today announced the launch of a Center of Excellence (CoE) for Software as a Service (SaaS). Using decision-support tools and implementation assets developed specifically for the SaaS platform, the CoE will assist organizations worldwide in evaluating, implementing, and driving value from SaaS for Customer Relationship Management (CRM).

The CoE draws upon IBM subject matter experts’ experience helping global organizations make decisions about SaaS. Developed by IBM’s CRM practice, part of IBM Global Business Services, the CoE helps organizations to understand how SaaS differs from traditional software delivery models, and to manage these differences.

“As a company with a complex sales coverage model, we stretched the capabilities of our SaaS platform,” said Mr. Nelson Lin, CIO, Konica Minolta Business Solutions, USA. “We ultimately succeeded because we approached the project as a business transformation, not simply a software implementation. IBM was crucial to our success. With their new CoE, they should only be more effective with their clients in this space.”

To help its clients be successful with SaaS, the IBM CoE for SaaS has developed evaluation models to assist with decision making and planning, and demonstration environments to preview SaaS capabilities. The CoE has also established an internal network of SaaS subject matter experts, so that IBM consultants on project teams can easily identify best practices and bring proven approaches to the implementation of SaaS solutions for their CRM clients. The CoE also takes advantage of IBM’s cloud computing infrastructure, which provides a uniform and consistent platform where IBM CRM experts worldwide can link together to rapidly deliver these services.

“The IBM CRM CoE will help organizations determine whether SaaS will be a suitable platform for driving CRM value, and then help them capture that value through implementation projects,” said Daniel Hirschbuehler, Global Leader, Customer Relationship Management, IBM Global Business Services. “Our goal is to be sure clients understand all the ramifications of these new delivery models and help them choose the right one for their business.”

The CRM CoE supports IBM’s strategy to provide high value CRM consulting services dedicated to helping clients make informed decisions about the latest business and technical topics. It is also representative of IBM’s services model of the future that combines consulting expertise with the use of intellectual property assets to deliver services to clients in an efficient and consistent fashion.

About IBM

For more information visit www.ibm.com.

 Media Contact: Linda Hanson Hunt 914-766-2015 lindah@us.ibm.com

SOURCE: IBM