DARIEN, CT, February 17, 2005 – Heating Oil Partners, a leading heating and air conditioning supplier in the Northeast, is using IBM’s new Think Express program to deploy ThinkPad and ThinkCentre personal computers to help keep its customer support network running efficiently this winter season, IBM and Computer Tech announced today.

The IBM Think Express program, part of the broad IBM Express Portfolio, combines a selection of ThinkPad notebooks and ThinkCentre desktops with aggressive pricing and good availability to meet limited budgets and quick delivery requirements. These models are configured to help customers in an on demand world by offering technology and features such as ThinkVantage Technologies, which help reduce IT costs and improve end-user and IT productivity.

To help expand its business and fuel efficiency, Heating Oil Partners relies on its reseller partner, Computer Tech, to provide IBM Express models of ThinkPad R51 and T42 notebooks and ThinkCentre A50 and A51p desktops in their more than 25 branches in the Northeast. The IBM Express program is vital to Heating Oil Partners’ business because of the speedy turnaround on customer requests, product reliability and IBM 3-year warranty support. Computer Tech, which has served as Heating Oil Partners’ value-added reseller for nearly a decade, recommends the most appropriate models and technologies and coordinates shipments to all Heating Oil Partners locations on time and often under budget.

“The ability to order a new IBM PC, have it shipped next-day and be up and running in a three-day window is a huge advantage, especially as we approach our busiest season,” said Rob Griffin, Manager of Technology, Heating Oil Partners. “We need advanced technology tools to help our employees do their job. We can provide our sales force with a durable ThinkPad notebook knowing it can take the abuse of the oil industry.”

In addition, Heating Oil Partners uses an IBM ThinkVantage Technology called Access Connections, to help connect its traveling employees to various types of wired and wireless networks.

Heating Oil Partners’ operations are conducted through local distribution and service centers throughout the Northeast and Mid-Atlantic states. Because the business activities span a six-state region that encompasses a growing population, Heating Oil Partners must be poised to open new distribution and service centers quickly, and on demand. Having a technology infrastructure that contributes to business readiness and resiliency, coupled with the quality and agility of Computer Tech services, has helped Heating Oil Partners become one of the fastest growing heating oil and home comfort system distributors in the United States.

“Our relationship with Computer Tech has been unmatched by any other vendor,” said Griffin. “Computer Tech’s honesty, reliability and hard work have made a great impact on my expectations from any vendor I do business with.”

Computer Tech, an IBM Premier Partner, provides IBM service and support for Heating Oil Partners.

About Heating Oil Partners Heating Oil Partners is one of the largest residential heating oil distributors in the United States, serving approximately 150,000 customers in the Northeast. The company’s primary business is the distribution of heating oil and other refined liquid petroleum products to residential and commercial customers. For more information, please visit www.hopheat.com .

About Computer Tech Formed in 1984, Computer Tech offers sales and services, including hardware/software procurement, configuration/integration/warehousing, systems engineering, network security, remote access, and applications development services to its more than 6,000 customers nationwide. For more information, please visit www.computertech.com .

About IBM Express Portfolio IBM, the world’s largest IT company, has helped customers innovate for business advantage for more than 80 years. IBM’s Express Portfolio now contains nearly 100 offerings, including ThinkPad notebooks, ThinkCentre desktops, eServer, WebSphere, and other IBM solutions designed specifically for small and medium business customers. IBM ThinkVantage Technologies enable small and medium businesses to increase their competitiveness and respond instantly and efficiently to the market while remaining focused on their core business. For information on IBM’s Express Portfolio, visit www-1.ibm.com/businesscenter/smb/us/en/product .

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Notes IBM, ThinkPad, ThinkCentre, ThinkVantage Technologies and Express Portfolio are trademarks or registered trademarks of International Business Machines Corp.


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