December 19, 2003
IBM and Hallmark struck a deal Friday that will make IBM responsible for creating, hosting, and managing the greeting card maker's consumer Web site. No terms were disclosed.
The agreement is an effort by Hallmark to accommodate the seasonal variations in its business. Card sales, including access to Hallmark's online greeting card service, skyrocket as holidays approach but slow dramatically in the interims. "We experience significant transaction spikes for our online business, especially around major holidays," Jeff Gragg, Hallmark's IT solution delivery director, said in a statement. "This agreement will provide access to improved technology through IBM without having to make heavy capital investments." As part of the arrangement, IBM's Business Consulting Services rewrote Hallmark's Web applications and ported them to IBM's WebSphere platform, its DB2 database, and its pSeries servers. IBM also said it has equipped the ShopNBC home shopping network, which broadcasts on television and has a Web site to match, with its eServer p690 line of high-end servers. ShopNBC will use the p690 systems to process holiday-season orders for transactions ordered through its television network as well as its Web-based store, IBM said. ShopNBC had been using older IBM Unix servers; it upgraded to the 2-year-old p690 as part of a multiyear deal.
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