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Centerprise and IBM Named Winner of CompTIA’s ASPire Award for Best Practices in Integration

Recognizes Successful Integration of Enterprise Management Systems into Single Framework

NEW YORK, January 24, 2002 – IBM (NYSE: IBM) and Centerprise Services, Inc. have been named winners in the second annual CompTIA ASP section ASPire Awards program, which highlights best practices in the application service provider (ASP) industry. The award was announced at the Internet World Fall 2001 Conference in December in New York City.

IBM and Centerprise Services were selected in the Integration category for providing a flexible systems integration and management module within Centerprise's broader enterprise management application suite. Centerprise Services, a software and services provider of an enterprise system solution built for the financial services industry’s wholesale capital markets sector, offers both ASP and traditional software license solutions.

"Our suite of products, CenterSphere, is a modular enterprise system built specifically for commercial and investment banks," said Reto Tuffli, CEO at Centerprise. "Just as manufacturing companies have relied on ERP solutions to gain operational efficiencies and are now using them to realize e-business strategies, we’re seeing growing interest in our enterprise approach in the financial services space where C-level executives are seeking out comprehensive enterprise solutions to simultaneously address operating costs, risk management and control issues, as well as outsourcing, co-sourcing and other e-business strategies. The bottom line is that industry and equity analysts, the financial and business media and more importantly shareholders are all paying close attention and CenterSphere is our very timely response to that need."

"Application integration functionality is absolutely key to this evolution, and thus to our product offering," he added. "As you can imagine, we’re delighted to have won this award with IBM, with whom we’ve worked closely on many fronts, and whose MQSeries set of middleware products are integrated throughout our enterprise solution. ConnectionCenter, one of our many application modules, is central to our value proposition: significantly reducing the number of systems that need to be managed and maintained, and delivering substantial savings in expenditures across many administrative and IT internal departments, including internal and external auditing expenses."

The Centerprise ConnectionCenter module gives capital markets firms an integrated framework to monitor key reporting systems and the data feeds they are required to provide. Firms can monitor daily feeds and their status, the types of data they contain, the organizational entities they cover and the transformation required to normalize data into a consistent format. Production model driven automated e-business processes can be associated with their respective data feeds, enabling conditional business logic to be triggered by the data feed.

According to Reza Ghorieshi, global technical strategist in the IBM Software Group and chairman of the ASP Industry Consortium Best Practices Committee, "Centerprise has leveraged WebSphere MQ, IBM's industry leading messaging software, to provide capital market solutions that are successfully handled and managed at the enterprise level. The combined effort between the two organizations can benefit the customer through reduced cost, increased efficiency and more immediate access to integrated financial solutions."

A key goal during CenterSphere’s two-year development was to provide the ability to administer, integrate and transform data feeds from existing legacy systems, which, according to Eric Yu, Centerprise’s CTO, "had to be an integral part of our general enterprise application. EAI capability is also a key requirement for a robust ASP service offering. The combination of IBM’s WebSphere MQSeries, MQSeries Integrator and MQSeries Workflow gave us the broad message brokering technology we were looking for. Our ConnectionCenter module brings these technologies together further, putting them in an organizational and workflow context, which is critical for enterprise level management."

Thirty-year IBM veteran Dean Keister, now head of network architecture for Centerprise, added, "Messaging, queuing, data transformation and process management must all work together to be effective. Large banks literally have hundreds of software systems and data sources providing feeds on a daily or more frequent basis for enterprise reporting needs. Smaller financial firms have different requirements, such as looking for flexible application hosting configurations for outsourcing or co-sourcing ASP solutions. CenterSphere successfully serves both ends of the customer spectrum."

The ASPire awards honored best practices in the ASP industry in five categories: delivery and enablement; integration; management and operations; service satisfaction; and innovative technology-wireless. An independent review board comprised of ASP industry experts from International Data Corporation (IDC), Gartner, Dataquest, McKinsey & Co. and Enterprise Management Associates selected the category winners.

Martin Rabkin
Tel: +1-845-425-1064