January 25, 2001

IBM brings Personalization software to Linux environment

Author: JT Smith

IBM today announced Linux*-based software that enables businesses to deliver personalized marketing messages to customers on the Internet. The announcement is IBM's latest initiative to support Linux throughout its portfolio of e-business software, servers and services.

Using IBM's WebSphere** Personalization software businesses can:
Build tailored Web pages that attract, engage and retain users;
Understand and predict user preferences; and
Differentiate a Web site from competitor sites quickly and efficiently.

According to IDC, Linux became the number two operating system in 1999 in new server shipments with 1.3 million licenses and anticipates Linux to remain the fastest growing server operating system thru 2004, with a compound annual growth rate of 28 percent from 2000 - 2004. The market opportunity for software on Linux is expected to grow even faster, with relational database servers expected to increase from $30 million in 2000 to $3.4 billion in 2004, a compound annual growth rate of 226%.

"With today's announcement, we're able to deliver software that allows companies to engage their customers over the Web, which is a powerful business tool," said Ed Harbour, director of marketing, WebSphere software platform, IBM. "IBM's WebSphere Personalization allows businesses to develop, deploy and update personalized data quickly on various platforms, including Linux-- the fastest growing operating system in the industry."

WebSphere offers the only product family that contains all of the following:
WebSphere Studio, Web site development tools;
WebSphere Personalization, to tailor Web content to each site visitor's interests using business rules technology, and Macromedia LikeMinds collaborative filtering technology;
WebSphere Site Analyzer, to analyze users' attraction to site content to optimize a site's personalization strategy; and
WebSphere Application Server v3.5, to provide a Web environment that can quickly adapt to volume changes without losing critical transaction information. As businesses expand, WebSphere allows for easy integration with additional e-commerce applications and existing legacy business systems.

WebSphere Application Servers are the foundation of the WebSphere software platform, which is Internet infrastructure software that enables businesses to develop, host, run and integrate e-business applications. According to Giga Information Group, the market opportunity in this area is $1.6 billion this year and will grow to $9 billion by 2003. WebSphere Application Server, Standard and Advanced Editions v3.5, were made available for Linux operating systems on December 15. With today's announcement, WebSphere Personalization supports deployment on Linux of personalized e-business applications ranging from Web publishing through high-volume Web transactions typical of business-to-business e-marketplaces.

The previous release of WebSphere Personalization, v3.5, included in one product both rules-based personalization as well as a recommendation engine which utilizes LikeMinds collaborative filtering technology from Macromedia. In the latest release of WebSphere Personalization, v3.5.2, the recommendation engine is now available on AIX, further broadening a site owner's choices of operating environment.

Additionally, in Personalization v3.5.2 the rules-based personalization capabilities have been extended to allow the personalization strategy to be based upon what is occurring during a visitor's tour of a site. Sample uses of these new functions can include monitoring what site content has been viewed or what has been placed in a shopping cart application by a site visitor. This allows the site's personalization strategy to capture more fully the interests of each site visitor and therefore more accurately select content that will be useful and interesting to the visitor. This can help attract and retain visitors to a site.

Pricing and Availability
WebSphere Personalization for Multiplatforms v3.5.2 is available worldwide on January 26, 2001 for Linux, AIX, HP-UX, Solaris, Windows 2000 and Windows NT operating systems. The WebSphere Personalization for Multiplatforms v3.5.2 rule engine and resource engine will support Linux, AIX, HP-UX, Solaris, Windows 2000 and Windows NT operating systems. The recommendation engine will support AIX, Solaris, Windows 2000 and Windows NT operating systems. A release of WebSphere Personalization for the OS/400 environment which includes recommendation engine support of AIX is planned for availability at a future date. The distributions of Linux supported are Red Hat 6.2, Caldera 2.3 e-Server, TurboLinux 6.0, and SuSE 6.4. WebSphere Personalization for Multiplatforms v3.5.2 supports SuSE 6.4 on the S/390.

WebSphere Personalization sells for $10,000 per processor.

About IBM's (NYSE: IBM) WebSphere Software
WebSphere is Internet infrastructure software -- known as middleware -- that enables companies to develop, deploy and integrate next-generation e-business applications, such as those for business-to-business e-commerce. WebSphere supports business applications from simple Web publishing through enterprise-
scale transaction processing. WebSphere transforms the way businesses manage customer, partner and employee relationships. More information about the WebSphere software platform is on the Web at http://www.ibm.com/websphere and at http://www-4.ibm.com/software/webservers/personali zation.

About IBM
IBM is the world's largest information technology company, with 80 years of leadership in helping businesses innovate. IBM Software offers the widest range of applications, middleware and operating systems for all types of computing platforms, allowing customers to take full advantage of the new era of e-business. The fastest way to get more information about IBM software or solutions for Linux is through the Internet at: http://www.ibm.com/linux.

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* Indicates trademark or registered trademark of Linus Torvalds.
** Indicates trademark or registered trademark of International Business Machines Corporation.
All other trademarks or registered trademarks are property of their respective owners."

Submitted by Tania Talman.

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