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SAN FRANCISCO, CA - 04 Aug 2003: LINUXWORLD 2004 -- To help independent software vendors (ISVs) and other solution providers serve small and medium businesses (SMBs) and drive Linux solution revenue, IBM now offers a series of enablement, go-to-market and incentive programs. According to Gartner, 28 percent of mid-sized businesses are currently experimenting with Linux, the open source operating system, while another 17 percent are actively using it.* This market segment is likely to grow since Linux allows small or medium-size businesses to create an open, standards-based foundation that gives them the flexibility to grow and use a variety of different servers across their infrastructure.
For example, Linux is quickly becoming a key component of IBM's ISV Advantage Initiative, which is designed to provide ISVs with technical and marketing support to help meet the needs of SMB customers. More than a dozen of the 55 business partners that have signed ISV Advantage agreements with IBM are already offering Linux-based solutions and several dozen more will be soon. As part of the initiative, ISVs work with IBM to port their applications to IBM's open infrastructure, with a special focus on IBM WebSphere** Express and IBM DB2** Express running on Linux. In North America, those ISV Advantage partners already offering Linux-based solutions include Tecsys (Montreal, QC), Friedman Corp. (Deerfield, IL) and MarCole (Walnut Creek, CA).
For MarCole, a provider of interactive point-of-sale retail solutions, teaming with IBM has helped it build a Linux-based gift registry solution for Boscov's Department Stores, a Reading, PA-based regional chain with 37 stores. The MarCole Gift RegistryWorks(TM) solution was originally served up on a Window NT-based network, but MarCole helped redeploy it on Linux to give it scale and flexibility. All registry SKUs interface to the chain's IBM DB2** Universal databases, so inventories are updated as soon as someone selects a gift and purchases it at the point-of-sale.
"Many retailers do not want to get locked into product licensing and all are looking to get greater value from their technology investment," said David Pava of MarCole. "Linux is opening the door for us to build open solutions. Being part of ISV Advantage and having the IBM sales and marketing muscle in sales situation is a huge advantage for us."
Additional IBM business partners in the ISV Advantage program currently offering Linux-based solutions include Datatex and ORDAT in Europe and NewsPage, 3RSoft, PRONTO Software, Axe Online, Mid-Comp, Business On Line, NEOJAPAN, and Japan Business Computer in the Asia-Pacific region.
Solutions Proven Adds 8 New ISV Solutions
Another business partner enablement program gaining momentum is IBM's Solutions Proven initiative, which is used by ISVs to create a broad portfolio of line-of-business applications that can then be resold by other IBM solution provider business partners. Eight new applications enabled on Linux are now available from six ISVs participating in this program: iEnterprises (Murray Hill, NJ), Genius Inside (Geneva, Switzerland), HR Solutions (Germany), Binary Tree (Red Wing, MN), Data Technologies (Orange, CA) and Frontline Consultancy (Manchester, UK).
These solutions, in such disciplines as CRM, ERP, Collaboration, e-Commerce, Project Management and Service Management, are available now through IBM's worldwide Business Partner channel, bringing the total number of ISV solutions in the Start Now Solutions Proven program to more than 30.
Frontline, a Manchester, UK-based ISV whose KUDOS solution helps clients grow a service revenue stream through service contract, field engineer, service depot, rental management, and CRM integration, has been able to develop a growing sales channel through IBM's business partner ecosystem, an industry-wide network of software developers, IT solution providers, value-added resellers, consultants and integrators that work with IBM and each other to build customer solutions on open standards technologies.
"IBM Solutions Proven enables us to build the partner channel for our KUDOS product quickly, efficiently and with a greatly increased rate of successful partner enablements," said Andrew Dewhurst, Frontline Sales and Marketing Director. "We need quality, not quantity, when it comes to building a partner channel, and being able to work with IBM to identify suitable and qualified partners who specialize in the SMB market like ourselves is a real blessing."
Partners Can Double Their Discount with Linux
At LinuxWorld, IBM is also introducing a new incentive for Business Partners called "Double Your Discount with Linux." The incentive is part of the Value Advantage Plus Initiative and helps ISVs, value added resellers (VARs) and other solution providers create Linux-based solutions for medium-size businesses using IBM's leading software. Starting August 18 and running through June 2004, participants in the program will be eligible for up to a 60 percent discount*** when they resell IBM software running on Linux to an SMB end user, doubling the existing VAP incentive. In other words for every $1,000 in IBM software sold in a Linux-based solution, VAP resellers can keep $600. IBM delivers more than 200 software products that run on Linux across its WebSphere**, DB2**, Lotus**, Tivoli**, Rational* products lines and the new Express offerings that are designed to meet the needs of medium-size businesses.
The program gives ISVs and solution providers the funding, tools, Linux marketing programs and sales collateral they need to quickly add Linux-based solutions to their portfolio of offerings for smaller businesses. The program is designed to help a wide range of ISVs and solution providers that currently resell software from IBM, as well as encourage partners that resell software running on Solaris, HP/UX or UnixWare to join IBM's PartnerWorld for Software program and take advantage of the "Double Your Discount with Linux" incentive.
* Gartner report, "Midsize Businesses Still Balking at .Net," March 18, 2003
** Trademark or registered trademark of the International Business Machines Corporation
*** The actual discount a solution provider receives from the distributor is determined solely by the distributor and not by IBM.
Information Management, Lotus, Tivoli, Rational, WebSphere, Open standards, open source