IBM has signed an agreement to distribute Maid's Infosorted news and research data through part of its Internet-based corporate information service, Infomarket.
The Maid services are to be marketed through IBM's global distribution channel and Maid will receive a sum for every customer using Infosorted.
The company believes if all goes to plan, the deal will have a huge effect on its profitability.
Following the news, Maid's share price leapt 22 per cent, ending the day at 240p, 12 per cent up on the previous day.
Tom McClain, IBM general manager of electronic content services, said the agreement was the first step in a planned all-encompassing relationship with Maid. 'It places us as a major business information supplier,' he said.
The Big Blue relationship follows similar Maid agreements with Microsoft and Compuserve. Maid is a leading supplier of online business information services and believes strongly that its databanks cannot exist in isolation.
Maid CEO Dan Wagner said: 'We have always believed that there are many complementary distribution channels for our databanks and that they are far more effective when aligned with other companies.'
According to Maid, the deals with IBM, Microsoft and Compuserve are the mainstay of its strategy for increasing the distribution of its online information via 'pay-as-you-go' models.
The Microsoft deal, signed in August last year, provides the network online service (MSN) with Maid's business information. A fully integrated groupware version will be ready with-in a couple of months to Microsoft Exchange users. The Compuserve signing, in March this year, provides information to 4.6 million users.
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