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IBM and Marriott International Sign New Agreement

today announced an agreement with Marriott International
, to implement a new group sales and event management solution. IBM Business Consulting Services will implement the hospitality solution to help Marriott maximize revenue and enhance responsiveness to meeting planners and other customers who plan events.
IBM will work with Marriott to centralize meeting and guest room availability across multiple locations worldwide allowing sales representatives the ability to quickly access information and respond to customer requests with a single phone call. This will help significantly reduce the planning time for group customers. In addition, this initiative will help Marriott optimize its large inventory of meeting and guest space in real-time, while providing on-demand customer service.

“Streamlining the group sales and event management processes through this agreement with IBM will create a significant competitive advantage for Marriott by enhancing customer service,” said Carl Wilson, Executive Vice President and CIO for Marriott International.

“Marriott is taking aggressive steps to create a technology environment with a single view of their property inventory,” said Adam Klaber, Global CRM Leader, IBM Business Consulting Services. “This project will assist them in becoming even more responsive to customers by offering a broader range of choices while lowering IT costs. This is a key attribute of a successful on-demand business.”

The Marriott initiative to optimize function space inventories, and improve responsiveness to customers, is aimed at creating a key competitive advantage in the hospitality marketplace. IBM and Marriott will utilize a new solution jointly developed with Siebel Systems, Inc. Siebel Systems’ new Hospitality Group Sales and Event Management (GSEM) solution will run on an IBM DB2 platform. The pilot phase will run by late 2005. As part of the agreement, IBM Global Financing is providing a tailored financial solution that enables Marriott to defer payments, closely matching development costs to the roll-out of the system’s benefits. Terms of the agreement were not disclosed.