IBM announced a five-year agreement with The Dow Chemical Co. to provide Dow with end-to-end Web-hosting services for the company's customer-facing e-business sites.
The agreement will enable Dow to expedite application introductions, reduce Web development costs and enhance the quality of service delivered to customers through online resources. Financial terms of the agreement were not disclosed.
"Dow and IBM have a long and successful history together," said Jim Corgel, general manager of e-business hosting services for IBM. "Dow is an `e-leader' in the chemical industry, and we look forward to working together to develop cutting-edge solutions to meet Dow's fast-emerging technology needs; in new ways and on-demand."
IBM will provide Web-hosting services for Dow's corporate Web site, Dow.com; MyAccount@Dow, the company's extranet for transactions, collaboration and information sharing with customers and Dow's other business- and industry-specific sites.
The contract covers all three stages of the Web production cycle - development, testing and production environments. According to David E. Kepler, corporate vice president, electronic business, and chief information officer for Dow, the relationship is another way the chemical company is using technology to enrich customer interactions and make it easier to do business with Dow.
While the agreement enables Dow to migrate new applications from development to production faster and more cost-effectively, Kepler said access to additional server resources also gives Dow the flexibility and agility to quickly respond to changing customer needs and user demands. "Information delivery is becoming a utility - like electricity, gas and water," said Kepler. "Quality customer care in today's dynamic e-business environment requires the predictability of a utility-based computing model. Our agreement with IBM enables us to maximize the availability, performance and quality of our online information and services for customers. Information delivery should be as simple and reliable as flipping a switch and getting light."
IBM is responsible for ensuring the availability and performance reliability of dozens of new servers supporting Dow's customer-facing e-business tools, enabling the company to efficiently manage significant increases in the use of Dow's Web-based tools. For example, since the site's introduction in 1999, user registration for MyAccount@Dow has increased from 200 to more than 8,000, with use growing at 10 percent monthly since the beginning of 2001.
In addition, IBM will provide e-business hosting services for Dow's co-located servers, ongoing measurement and analysis services and a technology update after 36 months.
Source: The Dow Chemical Co.