Pearson inks deal with IBM to support shared computer systems for publishing properties

Pearson and IBM today announced a seven-year initiative that will speed the creation of a cross-enterprise computing platform that will support the needs of Pearson's publishing, information and education businesses. The agreement -- which initially includes The Penguin Group and Pearson Education -- covers U.S. operations across thirty locations in eleven states.

Working with IBM, Pearson plans to improve the efficiency and performance of its computer systems and reduce technology spending in The Penguin Group and Pearson Education. The companies will consolidate the operations of many of Pearson's less powerful servers into a smaller number of high-capacity systems and deploy the IBM eServer p690, code-named "Regatta," to support Pearson's SAP system, which houses critical business applications for as billing, inventory control, order entry, product distribution, inventory, payroll, human resources and sales reporting. Pearson is also teaming with IBM's business recovery and continuity experts to ensure that its computer systems can continue to perform critical business functions in the event of a business disruption.

As a result of the relationship with IBM, more than 70 Pearson employees will join IBM to support Pearson's data center operations, which will be managed from Pearson's facilities in New York City and New Jersey.

"IBM will bring us economies of scale while maintaining the flexibility of our operating units," said Bill Gauld, chief information officer, Pearson plc. "IBM will help us establish a unified technology platform for all of Pearson."

"Through this agreement, Pearson is placing itself at the forefront of an outsourcing trend in the publishing industry," said John Evers, vice president, media and entertainment, IBM Global Services. "We will help Pearson unite computing systems and reduce operating costs while improving the performance of the technologies that supports the company's core operations."

About Pearson, plc

Pearson plc is an international media company with market leading businesses in education, business information and consumer publishing. Pearson Education is the world's leading learning company. Its textbooks, online learning tools and testing and assessment programs help to educate more than 100 million people worldwide. Penguin Group publishes an unrivalled range of fiction and non-fiction, bestsellers and classics, children's and reference works for audiences in over 100 countries. The Financial Times and its network of business and financial newspapers and online services informs the daily decisions of more than 4 million businesses and investors worldwide. For more information, visit http://www.pearson.com

About IBM Global Services

IBM Global Services is the world's largest information technology services provider, with approximately 150,000 professionals serving customers in 160 countries and annual revenue of $35 billion (2001). IBM Global Services integrates IBM's broad range of capabilities services, consulting, hardware, software and research to help companies of all sizes realize the full value of information technology. For more information, visit www.ibm.com/services.

Contact Information

Luke Swanson, Pearson
+ 44- (0) 20 7010 2313
luke.swanson@pearson.com

Nancy Kaplan, IBM
914-766-4265
nkaplan@us.ibm.com