IBM Supercomputer to Power Information Warehouse
for Staples; Heir to 'Deep Blue' Will Help Office Product Retailer
Analyze Operations More Efficiently
ARMONK, N.Y.-- Feb. 14, 2001--IBM today announced
that Staples Inc., (NASDAQ: SPLS), the pioneer of the office
superstore industry, will deploy a powerful IBM SP supercomputer in a
new enterprise data warehouse.
The solution helps integrate merchandising information across
Staples' business channels, which will strengthen the retailer's
ability to identify emerging retail trends, manage business operations
more effectively and maximize revenue generation.
The $9 billion company, a leader in the competitive office supply
industry, decided to extend its data warehouse to merge information
from several databases and make it available from a single repository.
The system will contain all the information generated by the company's
various online and offline businesses. With the information
consolidated, Staples will be able to run sophisticated data analyses,
giving the company unprecedented insight into its enterprise data.
IBM Hardware and Software -- Unmatched Scalability
The heart of the solution is 64-processor IBM SP supercomputer,
which is similar to the "Deep Blue" machine that defeated chess
champion Garry Kasparov in 1997. The SP -- a parallel computing system
comprised of up to 512 separate computers, or "nodes" -- provides the
extreme scalability necessary for large data warehouses.
Staples' SP supercomputer runs proprietary decision support
applications that sit atop IBM's DB2 Universal Database Enterprise
Extended Edition. Data is stored on four terabytes of IBM SSA disk and
is backed up daily by Tivoli Storage Manager onto IBM 3590 tape
"The IBM SP supercomputer and DB2 Universal Database give us a
solid, scalable foundation on which to build a sophisticated business
tool to manage information across all Staples' channels," said David
Barclay, Staples vice president of information systems. "We evaluated
hardware from other vendors, but felt they could not match the
performance and scalability demanded by our business users."
A Vital Decision-Support Tool
The data warehouse will be initially rolled out to Staples'
merchandising department. Ultimately, the system will become a vital
decision-support tool used throughout the company to assist supply
chain, inventory management and marketing initiatives.
"IBM's supercomputing technology is used by some of the world's
most prominent companies to give them the edge they need in a
competitive business environment," said Mike Kerr, vice president of
products, IBM eServer. "We are very proud to be working with Staples
to help them meet their corporate goals."
The new data warehouse is the latest addition of IBM technology
into Staples' IT infrastructure. The company also relies on IBM
RS/6000, AS/400 and Netfinity servers for a variety of key business
About Staples Inc.
Staples Inc., (NASDAQ:SPLS), is a $9 billion provider of office
supplies, furniture, technology and services to consumers and
businesses of all sizes in the United States, Canada, the United
Kingdom, Germany, the Netherlands and Portugal. Headquartered near
Boston, Staples invented the office superstore concept and is the
largest operator of office superstores in the world. The company has
50,000 employees who help customers slash the cost and hassle of
running their businesses through more than 1,200 retail superstores,
an e-commerce business, direct mail order operations under the brands
of Staples and subsidiary Quill Corporation, and a national accounts
contract business. More information about the company is available at
IBM is the number one server vendor in the world. For more
information, visit the IBM servers Web site at
Certain information contained in this news release constitutes
forward looking statements for purposes of the safe harbor provisions
of The Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. Actual
results may differ materially from those indicated by such
forward-looking statements as a result of various important factors
including risks related to Staples' ability to compete in its highly
competitive market, Staples' ability to continue to successfully open
new stores, Staples' quarterly operating results being subject to
significant fluctuation, Staples' stock price fluctuating based on the
expectations of professional securities analysts, the strain on
operations due to Staples' rapid growth which can affect operating
results, the ability of Staples' foreign operations and Staples.com to
become profitable and the ability of Staples to obtain adequate future
financing. Additional information concerning these factors is
contained in Staples' Quarterly Report on Form 10-Q dated September
11, 2000, which is on file with the Securities and Exchange
John Buscemi, 914/766-4495
Jennifer Rosenberg, 508/253-7375