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IBM Creates Interior Design Solution

Homeowners and renters can select interior design plans online or at kiosks through City Furniture thanks to new software designed by IBM.

IBM announced Monday that its WebSphere, DB2, and DB2 Everywhere, combined with xSeries servers, are powering City Furniture's Academy of Design, a unique multi-channel retail solution.

The company's center for e-business innovation in Atlanta helped the furniture and design service center develop a custom business model and innovative applications for design kiosks in the Florida stores, as well as a Web site that will allow customers to add, view and change design details, based on budgets, schedules and personal style. IBM is also providing ThinkPad notebooks loaded with custom applications – for floor plans, palettes, budgets, materials and suppliers – for house calls.

The application is built on Rational Rose XDE Developer for J2EE and Rational Application Developer. It was tested in a pilot program in 2005 and is planned for 21 stores this year.

Keith Koenig, City Furniture president, said the solution was a first of its kind in the home furnishings industry.