IBM Launches Expanded iSeries Partner Program to Seed Innovation in the Mid-Market

Unprecedented Investment in Application Innovation and Sales Enablement for ISVs and Business Partners Will Accelerate the Availability of iSeries Application and Tools Portfolio

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ARMONK, NY - 25 Feb 2005: Today, IBM announced that it will significantly increase its investments to engage nearly 10 times as many partners developing software applications and tools for its premier mid-market server, the eServer iSeries platform.

IBM will now provide up to $50,000 in incremental services to more than 2,500 software partners and application tool developers to create and deliver innovative business solutions on the iSeries platform for midmarket clients. The services in the new IBM eServer iSeries Initiative for Innovation program include access at no charge to IBM's experts in Rochester, Minn.; putting more iSeries people and investment into five Innovation Centers around the globe to help with the development of on demand business capabilities; opening the iSeries Developer's Roadmap to hundreds of more partners and tools providers; extending co-marketing agreements to more partners; making the virtual loaner program more accessible; education at no charge, and more.

"By expanding our support from hundreds to thousands of iSeries partners, IBM expects to open up a floodgate of innovation from third-party software vendors and developers who are eager to create on demand applications for the rapidly growing small and medium business market," said Mark Shearer, general manager, IBM eServer iSeries. "We wanted to smash the barriers that stand in our partners' way -- no matter what development path they choose -- and accelerate their ability to deliver critical innovation such as RFID, web services, portals and personalization to iSeries customers around the globe."

An example of innovation in action is Vormittag Associates Inc (VAI), a software provider for the retail, manufacturing and distribution industries. VAI worked with iSeries development and marketing teams to develop a suite of portlets to give its customers a choice of a full GUI front-end.

"Having resources from IBM to help develop our business plan, shape our software development and conduct co-marketing, helped us develop new products that are getting a lot of attention and attracting a new set of customers to the iSeries platform," said Bob Vormittag, president, VAI. "In fact, custom cosmetics manufacturer, Autumn Harp, moved off of its Intel-based systems onto a new iSeries server running VAI's System 2000 software to streamline its manufacturing processes and create an on demand operation."

The IBM Charter for iSeries Innovation
IBM today unveiled a charter to outline its enduring and future commitments to fuel innovation in iSeries solutions, partner applications and on demand capabilities for clients around the world. IBM will leverage its large investment in the iSeries platform over the last two years to secure iSeries leadership as the most complete business solution to simplify IT environments and enhance the value of customers' and iSeries business partners' existing investments. For more details on the Charter please visit:

"The iSeries platform has delivered tremendous benefits to its SMB customers for decades," said Marc Lautenbach, general manager, IBM Global Small and Medium Business. "These initiatives and programs, as well as the IBM Charter for iSeries Innovation, solidifies IBM's commitment to innovation and growth for iSeries customers. IBM eServer iSeries Initiative for Innovation and the Charter are intended to keep us focused on investing in innovation for the iSeries for years to come while offering unprecedented solutions to our partners and customers alike."

With today's partner news, expanded resources will be made available to thousands more iSeries ISVs through the following programs:

"IBM's investment in resources for tool providers will yield even better results for LANSA as we continue to evolve our software to tap web services and enable service-oriented architectures for iSeries customers," said John Siniscal, president, LANSA, a leading application development and integration suite provider and IBM Premier Business Partner. "The iSeries Initiative for Innovation should further assist our clients as they work to gain a competitive edge within their industry."

For more information on the IBM eServer iSeries Initiative for Innovation, please visit: