IBM Simplifies Virtualization Adoption, Drives New Business for Partners

Small Businesses Find Opportunities to Consolidate and Virtualize Resources

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ARMONK, NY - 31 Oct 2007: Today IBM (NYSE: IBM) announced the availability of a new analysis toolset to help IBM and its business partners identify opportunities for small businesses to consolidate and virtualize infrastructure resources to improve IT economics.

First introduced in 2001, IBM's Consolidation Discovery and Analysis Tool (CDAT) helps identify untapped utilization and hidden servers across a client's network, and provides recommendations on how to consolidate and virtualize x86 resources most effectively, saving customers up to 60 percent in IT costs while quadrupling a client's computing utilization.

CDAT has been expanded with the introduction of the "Server Consolidation Made Simple" toolset which certifies partners to provide evaluations to consolidate IT environments with less than 50 servers. By leveraging IBM blueprints from thousands of successful server consolidation engagements, business partners are able to provide swift guidance to clients.

"IBM has more than doubled its client engagements for virtualization on x86 systems, enabling IBM clients to deploy on average a total of 1,000 virtual machines a day thanks to resources such as CDAT," said Rich Lechner, vice president, IBM IT Optimization. "And with more than seventy percent of IBM's virtualization client engagements coming from business partners, our ability to serve our partners with tools that simplify and extend their client relationships is key."

Three years ago IBM Business Partner Mainline Information Systems performed a CDAT evaluation for its client, Frankenmuth Mutual Insurance Company. Founded in 1868, the company is considered a top property and casualty insurer with policyholders throughout the Midwest, Southeast and Northeast. Since its CDAT evaluation, Frankenmuth has continued to grow its business productivity in a virtualized IT environment. To date, the company is represented by more than 450 independent agencies and more than 575 employees.

"Mainline Information Systems came to evaluate our server utilization with the CDAT tool and the proposal they came back with reaffirmed to us that virtualizing our System x servers is the best way to effectively support the business," said Curtis Williams, IT manager of Technical Services at Frankenmuth Mutual Insurance Company. "By virtualizing many of our physical servers we improved overall server utilization rates to as high as 80 percent. We also benefit from a great ease of management, rapid deployment and thousands in cost savings per year."

An additional service, "Server Consolidation Factory" provides a customized, client-ready server consolidation proposal for business partners that do not have trained solution developers in-house. Partners can devote more time to client relationships by leveraging IBM's insight to provide sound recommendations in a timely manner. Bundled pricing for the service is not for profit, and starts at merely $500 per fifty servers, up to five times less expensive than competitive services.

"IBM CDAT is one of the most effective tools we utilize. It has enabled us to consistently achieve a 90 percent win rate with our customers," said Vic Verola, vice president of Sales for IBM Premier Business Partner, Vicom Computer Services. "We are now able to deliver the same high quality studies that previously we were only able to do with our very large clients. Through 'Server Consolidation Made Simple,' the process to engage such clients is very easy, requiring minimum time investment while providing them with an accurate yet efficient proposal."

"Virtualization and server consolidation are fueling tremendous growth in technology investments," said Tony Madden, senior vice president and general manager, Avnet Technology Solutions, Americas, IBM Solutions group. "While this market presents significant opportunities for Avnet's value-added reseller partners, they often have limited resources to develop the comprehensive analysis and proposals these type of engagements demand. IBM's Consolidation Discovery and Analysis Tool and Server Consolidation Factory provide our partners with a way to simplify the proposal process and complement our extensive solutions portfolio, training, programs and services."

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