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Port Security Conference

April 21 2003


IBM to build internet-based supply chain network for Electric Boat
IBM today announced that is has been awarded a multi-year contract by General Dynamics Electric Boat to build what it claims is the shipbuilding industry's first Internet-based supply chain network.

IBM will provide on demand computing infrastructure to automate Electric Boat's supply chain, linking together partners, suppliers and other shipyards in a single integrated organization to help the company accelerate the building of submarines for the U.S. Navy.

Today's agreement with Electric Boat to provide on demand computing services is the first commercial result of IBM's ongoing collaboration with the National Shipbuilding Research Program (NSRP) to increase U.S shipbuilding efficiency by using technology to improve collaboration and information exchange among shipbuilders and their suppliers.

The NSRP is a consortium of major U.S. shipbuilding firms that helps focus national shipbuilding research and development funding on technologies that will reduce the cost of warships to the U.S. Navy and further U.S. international competitiveness.

IBM will host and manage a turnkey supply chain network for Electric Boat, connecting business partners and suppliers in a secure Web environment designed to reduce inefficiencies caused by today's largely paper-based shipbuilding supply chain.

The IBM solution, known as SPARS (Shipbuilding Partners and Suppliers) on demand service, is based on open, scaleable computing architecture, enabling Electric Boat to quickly add users and business processes, regardless of computing platform. Electric Boat will pay a monthly usage fee for the service based on the number of registered users, suppliers and business processes.

"Access to the highest quality technology on demand is critical to helping U.S shipbuilders increase efficiencies and compete in a global marketplace," said Jim Corgel, general manager, IBM e-business hosting services. "We are delighted to partner with Electric Boat to create a truly open infrastructure that will facilitate timeliness and productivity in the Electric Boat supply chain. Today's agreement and ongoing partnerships with other shipbuilders reflects our clear commitment to providing the U.S. shipbuilding industry with services and technology expertise to build ships faster and more efficiently."

The SPARS on demand service uses IBM WebSphere, DB2 and Tivoli Security Management software on IBM eServer xSeries systems in a hosted environment to provide around-the-clock infrastructure support for the supply chain management requirements of both large and small shipyards. Shipyards subscribing to the SPARS on demand service receive all required installation, operations, systems administration, maintenance and support, as well as robust security, supplier registration and document management. Secure connectivity options and integration services for legacy systems are also available.

The SPARS on demand service is the newest on demand service from IBM Global Services. On demand services from IBM help businesses and organizations create open infrastructures that allow information to flow across independent business operations, such as those for managing customer relationships or the supply chain. This type of integration is crucial in helping a company become an on demand e-business -- capable of responding quickly, intelligently and flexibly to customer demands and changing market conditions.

NSRP is a collaboration of eleven U.S. shipyards working with government, industry, and academia to achieve the continuous product and process improvements necessary for the U.S. shipbuilding industry to become internationally competitive, directly resulting in more affordable Navy ships. NSRP is sponsored by the Naval Sea Systems Command.

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