From the Wires
Cellum Group Selects IBM Flex System To Bring New Mobile Payment Services To The Market
IBM technology helps spread m-payment in Hungary
By: PR Newswire
Nov. 30, 2012 08:00 AM
BUDAPEST, Hungary, Nov. 30, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- Shoppers in Hungary will soon have a better convenience in bill paying thanks to the new and enhanced mobile payment service from Cellum Group and based on the IBM (NYSE:IBM) Flex System. Cellum is the largest provider of m-payment solutions in Hungary, with more than a million mobile payment transactions per month and significant growth in the total numbers of customers using their services.
Cellum Group offers m-payment solutions for any type of mobile phone and has one of the largest portfolios of user applications available. Services range from the re-charging of pre-paid mobile accounts, bill payment, e-commerce checkout, m-commerce for retail, and transfer of funds from one account to another. According to Jeff McAllister, SVP Sales for Cellum, twelve percent of Hungarian mobile subscribers currently use their cell phones at least twice a week to pay for services including; parking fees, highway tolls, and lottery tickets.
The number of consumers using mobile devices to visit retail sites and make purchases is a growing global trend, with recent statistics from IBM indicating just how digital shoppers are becoming. For example, during the recent "Black Friday" shopping period, mobile purchases soared with 24 percent of consumers using a mobile device to visit a retailer's site, up from 14.3 percent in 2011. Mobile sales exceeded 16 percent, up from 9.8 percent in 2011. 
"Service providers and retailers are starting to realize that new m-payment solutions can make shopping much more convenient given there are enough accepting points of sale and the payments are secure," said Balazs Inotay, Chief Strategy Officer of Cellum Global. "Mobile payments actually represent a new sales channel that combines payment, shopping and loyalty in the same package. Retailers can target customers and promote goods and services as the codes in the catalogues lead directly to the online shop."
To take advantage of this opportunity and be able to handle the increasing number of Hungarian mobile users demanding one-click payment applications from their cell phones, Cellum needed to upgrade its IT infrastructure. Working with Business Partner USER Rendszerhaz, IBM designed and implemented a system built on IBM Flex System.
"The IBM Flex System provides the security, flexibility and integration capabilities that will help Cellum Group introduce more efficient m-payment solutions while lowering payment processing costs," said Zsolt Veres, Country General Manager, IBM Hungary. "This system provides the infrastructure for Cellum to rapidly deliver additional m-payment applications and bring new mobile innovations to Hungarian consumers."
Cellum Group plans to launch its enhanced m-payment services for its subscribers in Hungary in January 2013, with similar services soon to be launched in Bulgaria, Albania and Austria.
The IBM Flex System goes beyond competitor's blade configurations and provides the building-block elements for IBM PureSystems. IBM Flex Systems are built-to-order offerings for clients who want to custom build and tune configurations to their specific requirements. This allows them to select the specific compute, systems networking and optional storage and management required to support their specific workloads.
The IBM PureSystems family offers clients an alternative to current enterprise computing models, where multiple and disparate systems require significant resources to set up and maintain. PureFlex System enables organizations to more efficiently create and manage an infrastructure. PureApplication System helps organizations reduce the cost and complexity of rapidly deploying and managing applications. PureData System is tuned for cloud computing and can consolidate more than 100 databases on a single system. In addition to the common web application patterns supported by PureApplication System, the combination of both PureData and PureApplication Systems can be used for end to end transaction workloads.
For IBM Business Partners, PureSystems creates a new services opportunity to help clients solve the complexity of enterprise IT, reduce costs and encourage innovation. From resellers to distributors and Independent Software Vendors (ISVs), more than 2500 Business Partners have received PureSystems certifications. PureSystems currently run tens of thousands of existing ISV applications across four operating environments including Windows, Linux, AIX, and IBM i operating system. Additionally, Business Partners have created more than 250 new solutions and applications that are optimized to run on PureSystems. These patterns of expertise, which span 20 industries, can be accessed through the IBM PureSystems Centre. They include leading solutions from some of the world's largest ISVs, including ERP systems and applications for the banking, marketing, healthcare and energy industries. Additionally, partners are able to perform many of the configuration and deployment services that previously came only from IBM and are optional and optionally available to be performed by qualified business partners.
To help address the new opportunity that PureSystems presents, IBM is also providing training, marketing, certifications and technical validation support to its Business Partners. For instance, dozens of IBM Innovation Centers in cities such as Bangalore, Dublin, Johannesburg and Shanghai are helping Business Partners develop and test their applications using IBM PureSystems. Business Partners can also bring their clients to IBM Innovation Centers to see PureSystems technology at work.
For more information on IBM PureSystems visit: www.ibm.com/press/pure
 Source: IBM "Black Friday Report 2012: IBM Digital Analytics Benchmark," November 23, 2012
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