RESEARCH TRIANGLE PARK, N.C. — March 2, 2005 — IBM today announced a new secure wireless networking solution designed to address two central concerns of medium-sized businesses: security and complexity.
The IBM Secure Wireless Networking Solution for Cisco Systems combines IBM and Cisco technologies to tighten security in a single, tested and proven solution, creating the first end-to-end wireless networking solution designed specifically for businesses of approximately 100 to 1,000 employees. The solution will be sold and delivered by IBM Business Partners, who will serve as wireless networking experts for their customers. Forrester Research, Inc., forecasts 51 percent of medium businesses will add wireless networking capabilities in 2005 (1). However, customer feedback gathered by both Cisco and IBM indicates that medium businesses want help in the design and implementation of a secure wireless network.
"This solution enables businesses to access the same world-class security, stability and integration that was previously only available to large enterprise customers," said Deepak Advani, vice president, worldwide marketing, IBM Personal Computing Division. "Wireless networking helps people become more productive at times and in places where they simply could not do work before. The secure wireless networking solution will simplify deployment and help improve employee productivity, creating a valuable networking asset for growing medium-sized businesses."
"Security enforcement and ease of use are the primary obstacles to broad wireless network adoption by medium-sized companies," said Ann Sun, senior manager of Wireless/Mobility solutions at Cisco Systems. "This solution allows users to connect easily and more securely to their network, using a network infrastructure they can depend on."
An example of another strong collaboration between the two companies, the IBM Secure Wireless Networking Solution for Cisco Systems includes: · IBM ThinkPad T, X or R series notebooks (Express models) with IBM ThinkVantage Technologies to help users deploy, connect, protect and support PCs. For example, Access Connections simplifies switching among wired, wireless and WAN environments and IBM's Embedded Security Subsystem offers secure storage of wireless credentials on an integrated security chip.· IBM Websphere Everyplace Connections Manager (WECM) software: Starter Edition v5.1 for secure remote access, which meets the government's highest security certification, with seamless roaming to maintain connectivity in multiple environments to automatically re-establish connections if lost and data compression for network optimization.· Cisco Wireless Networking Solutions: Cisco Aironet Access Points, Cisco Integrated Services Routers and CiscoSecure Access Control Server v3.3 for Windows 2003 to provide customers with a fast, highly secure and reliable wireless solution.· IBM eServer xSeries 226 servers to host IBM WECM and Cisco Access Control Server software.IBM InfoPrint 1000 family of printers: providing wireless connectivity, speed and reliability in a small form factor for saving space.
IBM Business Partner Support The secure wireless networking solution will be deployed by IBM trained and qualified Business Partners, offering customized implementation, on-site services, support and resources to help get customers up and running quickly with minimal interruption to standard business.
Three IBM business partners — Computer Tech, headquartered in Houston, Texas; Future Tech, in Holbrook, N.Y.; and Zones, in Auburn, Wash. — have piloted the solution.
Computer Tech Vice President of IBM Business Development Tracy Barney appreciates the IBM and Cisco partnership and the standards-based, reliable, easy-to-maintain products and technologies incorporated by the solution. The combination of Cisco wireless solutions, IBM ThinkVantage Technologies, and industry-leading ThinkPad notebooks mean customers can take advantage of the most secure wireless networking solution on the market. Future Tech President and Chief Executive Officer Bob Venero plans to integrate IBM and Cisco's wireless networking solution into the company's infrastructure, citing the peace of mind that trusted companies bring to the offering. He expects the offering will be particularly relevant for customers with mobile sales forces, such as insurance and health care.
Zones Chief Technology Officer and Vice President of Services Greg Malik says many customers value wireless mobility but are cautious about installation and configuration complexities. With the help of IBM's Business Partner network, skilled technicians will implement the solution quickly and securely so customers can focus on day-to-day operations.
New IBM ThinkPad R52 Notebook — Ideal for SMB IBM also announced today the new ThinkPad R52 notebook, available in an Express model to meet the needs of small- and medium-sized businesses. Drawing on Pentium M processors, Centrino Mobile Technology and 802.11a/b/g, Intel 802.11b connectivity, the ThinkPad R52 provides superior wireless connectivity and is the most powerful notebook in the R series. Weighing as little as 5.8 pounds and offering close to six hours of battery life, the ThinkPad R52 also offers a new ThinkPad Multi-Burner Plus Ultrabay Enhanced Drive, capable of reading and writing both CDs and DVDs.
Pricing and Availability The IBM Secure Wireless Networking Solution for Cisco Systems can be acquired through select IBM Business Partners in the U.S. using IBM Financing Advantage to simplify budgeting and planning through a single contract and invoice for IT acquisitions. Contact a solution specialist at 1-888-IBM-5800, extension SMB, for more information.
The ThinkPad R52 is now available and starts at $1,149. More information on the ThinkPad R52 is available at www.ibm.com/thinkpad. More information on the IBM Secure Wireless Networking Solution for Cisco Systems is available at www.ibm.com/businesscenter