IDC and Ketchum Introduce Channel Communications Measurement and Management Service

CHICAGO and FRAMINGHAM, MA – JULY 28, 2003 – Ketchum and IDC today introduced PACE Index (Partners and Alliances Communications Effectiveness), a partner communications measurement and management service. PACE Index benchmarks the effectiveness of a technology company's communications with its partners and alliances and provides data-driven guidance to help vendors make solid decisions to improve their channel communications.


Although technology vendors invest millions of dollars into partner programs such as conferences, Web portals, training and newsletters, many companies remain uncertain as to which initiatives are needed and provide real value. IDC estimates 50 percent of the world's $871 billion in technology sales comes through indirect channels, and more than 59% of software sales in North America are influenced by third party organizations.

"In today's technology environment, every dollar counts and channel partners have a direct link into customers,” says Paul M. Rand, Ketchum partner and director of the firm's Global Technology Practice. "For vendors, learning what's working and not working intheir channel communications programs can save significant dollars and dramatically increase their effectiveness.”

PACE Index is unique in that it offers a proprietary research methodology plus interpretive guidance from two leading firms in their respective fields. IDC and Ketchum present PACE Index results in a formal report that includes a detailed analysis of survey data and formal recommendations. All responses are gathered via personal telephone interviews to approximately 40-50 of a company's top channel partners.

"Ineffective partner communication issues often exacerbate and sometimes cause partner management issues, including partner conflict, churn, and low satisfaction and loyalty," said Stephen Graham, group vice president, Global Software Partnering and Alliances at IDC. "Not addressing these issues inevitably leads to a higher cost of sales, which few vendors can afford, particularly in this economic climate."

Ketchum and IDC formed ChannelEdgeSM in 2002 to provide technology vendors with an innovative way to turn channel communications into strategic advantage. The first-of-its-kind global initiative helps tech companies develop or refine market-leading strategies with their various channels – dealers, distributors, resellers and other partners besides their own sales force – that can be communicated effectively and deliver business results.

Additional information on ChannelEdge can be found at www.channeledge.com.

About Ketchum

An innovator in communication since 1923, Ketchum delivers seamless service around the globe through its 23 offices and 32 affiliates and associates in North America, Europe, Asia Pacific and Latin America. With its six global practice areas – Brand Marketing, Corporate Communications, Healthcare, Food & Nutrition, Technology, and Ketchum Inside (change management and workplace communication) – Ketchum offers clients an extensive breadth and depth of knowledge and expertise. A top ten global public relations firm, Ketchum is a unit of Omnicom Group Inc. (NYSE:OMC; www.omnicomgroup.com). With more than 200 professionals in key locations worldwide, Ketchum's Global Technology Practice offers extensive experience helping hundreds of technology and industrial companies – from the

Fortune 100 to emerging enterprises – truly understand the channel marketplace and develop and actively support channel communications initiatives. Additional information on Ketchum, its award-winning work, and past press releases can be found at www.ketchum.com and on the Global Technology Practice at www.ketchum.com/technology.

About IDC

IDC is the premier global market intelligence and advisory firm in the information technology and telecommunications industries. We analyze and predict technology trends so that our clients can make strategic, fact-based decisions on IT purchases and business strategy. Over 700 IDC analysts in 50 countries provide local expertise and insights on technology markets. Business executives and IT managers have relied for 40 years on our advice to make decisions that contribute to the success of their organizations.

IDC is a division of IDG, the world's leading technology media, research, and events company. Additional information can be found at www.idc.com

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