IBM, Camstar Ally on Collaboration Solutions

Big Blue's latest partnership offers manufacturing execution systems optimized for WebSphere platform, targets electronics sector

Tempe, AZ  December 12, 2002  e-Business über-provider IBM and manufacturing execution systems provider Camstar are partnering to jointly market Camstar's software optimized for Big Blue's WebSphere infrastructure platform.

The newly minted partners will target the joint offering at the consumer electronics manufacturing and electronics contract manufacturing sectors, which include companies that produce a variety of electronic products, such as printed circuit boards, for computer and electronics companies on a contract basis.

Shorter product life cycles and global price competition have placed companies in these sectors under pressure to respond more quickly to changing customer demand and to reduce manufacturing costs. Tight coordination between customers, manufacturing operations and suppliers can help companies in responding effectively to these challenges.

The joint solution is intended to improve manufacturing operations and reduce operational costs by integrating production information with supply chain, procurement and customer support enterprise solutions, according to the two companies.

A part of IBM's new e-Business on Demand initiative, the two companies' solution is designed to enable the coordination and integration of all manufacturing activities across the enterprise and the ability to respond quickly to changing market conditions.

"Manufacturers need this kind of support to be successful with lean manufacturing initiatives and to accelerate their rate of new product introductions," said Dave Cone, president and CEO of Camstar. "Our joint solution lets them focus their attention on growing their businesses."

"Success in electronics manufacturing requires real-time access to product information throughout the value chain," said Lorene Steffes, general manager for IBM Global Electronics Industry. "With the IBM-Camstar solution, our customers receive critical manufacturing information that can be seamlessly integrated into procurement, supply chain, and customer delivery and support functions."

The offering will include Camstar's InSite manufacturing execution software optimized for IBM's WebSphere Application Server, WebSphere MQ, DB2 database software and eServer pSeries and xSeries hardware. IBM Global Services will provide consulting and integration services.

IBM, under its e-Business on Demand initiative, has been spent the past year striking a variety of alliances with providers targeting various segments of the supply chain.

In April IBM expanded its alliance with e-procurement provider Ariba in an agreement that called for Big Blue to provide the nuts, bolts and services necessary to help companies deploy Ariba's Spend Management Suite. That same month, IBM and Peregrine Systems announced a strategic alliance agreement to jointly deliver infrastructure resource management solutions to customers in the public sector, telecommunications and financial services industries.

Later in the year, in August, IBM teamed with Vastera, a provider of global trade management software, to jointly offer solutions for the public sector with the goal of helping companies trade more effectively around the world.

A month later, IBM partnered with Clear Technologies to offer a customer relationship management (CRM) solution targeted at North American mid-market customers in the wholesale distribution, industrial and services industries, and last month Big Blue renewed an alliance with EXE Technologies to deliver supply chain solutions to manage all activities within a warehouse. Most recently, IBM allied with Rockwell Automation to offer solutions for large automotive companies.

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