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BT eBusiness Manager Delivers High-Quality Business Management Solutions to Small and Medium-sized Companies

Internet ASP solution runs on technology from First Derivatives and Kx Systems

Newry, Northern Ireland, UK – April 20, 2004 - While smaller businesses often aspire to having top-quality applications and professional IT support, few of them have the financial resources to purchase such capabilities, particularly when they are starting out. Now, thanks to BT eBusiness Manager, they don't need an enterprise budget in order to benefit from first-rate business solutions.

BT eBusiness Manager enables businesses of any size to run enterprise-quality applications over the web. The BT solution is a suite of 12 integrated applications including Accounts Manager, Document Manager, Supplier Manager, Catalogue Manager, Project Manager, Recruitment Manager, and Sales Manager.

According to Chris Boorman, Strategic Business Alliances Manager, BT, "For too long, small businesses have been forced to bear extravagant costs for their business software. As a result, many have simply done without the very software that could make them more efficient and profitable. BT e-Business Manager is intended to simplify the take-up of enterprise-class technology by small businesses at an affordable price."

BT eBusiness Manager is the latest strategic step in BT's commitment to becoming the number one provider of complete e-business solutions for small and medium sized businesses. The company believes that the application service provider (ASP) model used for BT eBusiness Manager makes sense for firms of any size, because it eliminates the need for purchasing and managing expensive computer and storage systems. Firms that use BT eBusiness Manager can stop worrying about lost data, software license management, and other complexities of technology. Through BT telecommunications, they can also take advantage of broadband, mobile channels and Internet trading to help them be more competitive in business.

Customers already benefiting

Users of the new system include Calderwood Agencies, a London-based construction project management firm that handles residential and commercial projects with values that range as high as 15M GPB. According to Barry O'Neill, Project Manager, "By allowing the design and construction teams to share documents online, by facilitating the coordination of project participants, and by allowing prioritization and monitoring of project tasks, we are able to effect greater control -- of time, quality and cost."

Other users include the Cardiff City Council and Carlisle Fuels.

Secure access from anywhere

BT eBusiness Manager applications are accessed securely from BT’s Data Centre using the web, and users need only a browser supporting SSL to use the applications. Behind the scenes BT provides Internet and data center support. "We wanted to eliminate the need for downloads or plug-ins. With the ASP model, our customers receive the benefits of a world-class IT organization without the associated costs," stated Boorman. “BT eBusiness Manager also enables mobile users to work from anywhere. Any PDA or laptop can be configured to provide full access."

The technology behind the scenes

While BT provides the data center hosting and customer support for BT eBusiness Manager, the applications themselves are developed by First Derivatives (FD) plc, (LSE: FDP), a Northern Ireland consultancy that develops and supports software for financial and telecom services.

According to Brian Conlon, CEO of FD, "We saw a great need for better business software for smaller businesses, and we had already been at work developing such applications. When we met with BT, and they shared their plans for offering more ASP solutions to smaller firms, we realized that a partnership between BT and FD would enable us to offer a more efficient and more affordable way to solve the business problems of firms that do not have large IT budgets."

The relationship between BT and FD was formed in May of 2003, and the first BT eBusiness Manager suite was launched the following September.

FD developed the applications using software from Kx Systems, a database and application vendor to leading firms in financial and other industries. "By using Kx technology, we are able to assure BT eBusiness Manager users that there is an enormous growth path available in terms of performance and scalability," said Conlon. "The technology fully supports BT's intention to offer any-sized business all the advantages of enterprise-class applications."