ServersWanted: iSeries Platform Innovators

Wanted: iSeries Platform Innovators

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IBM will provide up to $50,000 in new services to lure more partners and tool developers to write software for its eServer iSeries
IBM is looking to prop up its iSeries systems by appealing to partners with new programs.

In what one official called the company’s most comprehensive push on
platform in a decade, the eServer iSeries Initiative for Innovation
is an indication of Big Blue’s persistence in building support
among more than 2,500 partners and developers for its mid-market

iSeries, which includes hardware, middleware, storage and security, is
targeted at small and midsize business customers, which IBM
believes have the potential to be a $370 billion market.

As part of its e-business on-demand strategy, the Armonk, N.Y. company
to bring more developers into its fold to create software for RFID, Web services, and portals on iSeries
systems, said Peter Bingaman, vice president of marketing for iSeries.

Bingaman said IBM plans to pump more money and personnel into its IBM
Innovation Centers, located in China, Japan, Italy, France and
the United States, and the United Kingdom.

For the “application innovation” program, IBM will provide $50,000 in
services such as a virtual loaner program, factory assistance, and
to help its ISVs strengthen their iSeries capabilities. This represents
change from a previous approach of managing one-to-one relationships
large ISVs.

Now, Bingaman said, IBM has opened up the program to thousands of ISVs
60 tools partners to claim “a no ISV left behind” capability.

In its “tools innovation” program, the Armonk, N.Y. company is
promoting a
broader portfolio of tools for developers to build applications in
RPG, COBOL, or .NET on i5/OS, Linux, AIX and Windows, which the iSeries
run simultaneously thanks to the new Power5 architecture.

The “iSeries innovation” will enable ISVs and other partners to define
iSeries road map, instead of being force-fed direction. IBM’s Innovation
program is also strategic, as the company hopes it will gain more
market share from Microsoft Windows users.

Partners will also be eligible to receive up to 70 percent discount for
co-advertising in more than 220 industry magazines around the world to help
business partners reach out to customers. IBM, which has contracted
commercials in the last two years, will also boost its own advertising
TV, radio, and major newspapers.

“We have to build markets for our partners to sell the iSeries,”
Bingaman said. To help this, IBM will sponsor a four-page advertisement in the
Wall Street Journal on Monday.

This article was originally published on

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