MANILA, JUNE 12, 2006
 (STAR) By Alma Anonas-Carpio - Does your business need an IT makeover?

The IBM Makeover Challenge was launched recently in Manila with the computer manufacturing giant inviting firms in the Philippines to compete for a $50,000 suite of IT solutions composed of hardware, software and services.

The competition is open to companies that have between 100 and 999 employees. It aims to help small and medium enterprises (SMEs) which have outgrown their information technology capacities make over their IT architecture and prepare for future growth.

By installing the IT suite, IBM intends to help the winner simplify server management, boost productivity and collaboration among its employees while ensuring its IT security and resilience. The winner will also receive a Lenovo ThinkPad.

The closing date for entries is July 14.

Entries may be submitted online at IBM will select the winner based on the company’s need for an IT solution and how this makeover will benefit the organization. Initial interviews will be conducted based on company submissions.

The IT suite will include an IBM BladeCenter with one BladeServer Chassis with 2x200 PSU and Nortel Networks L2/3 Copper GbE Switch Module for the BladeCenter; two HS20 Blade Servers; an IBM 25U Rack cabinet set; and IBM BladeCenter hardware powered by Intel Xeon processors.

The IT makeover winner will also get WebSphere software, IBM’s Tivoli Express Portfolio software, IBM Express Managed Security Services for anti-spam and anti-virus e-mail for up to 100 users for 12 months, e-mail security services sponsored by MessageLabs, and JetSupport from IBM Software Services.

IBM business partners and their advertising, media and event agencies, government departments, ministries and government-owned companies, and clients with valid proposals for IBM BladeCenter, IBM WebSphere, Tivoli Express Software and Email Managed Security Services are not eligible to participate in the contest.

Chestnut Andaya, IBM cross-industry sector country manager, said, "The reality is that many businesses in the (Philippines) have been growing at a furious pace and their IT infrastructure has not kept pace. As business needs continue to loom and weigh on existing infrastructure, IT demands tend to outstrip current capacity and capabilities."

"The IBM Makeover Challenge presents the perfect opportunity for companies facing this conundrum to get solutions that fit their businesses and help them stay competitive," Andaya said.

"We expect the winner to reap the benefits of a more streamlined IT infrastructure and lower costs well beyond the end of the Makeover Challenge," Andaya added.

Chief News Editor: Sol Jose Vanzi

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