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iSeries Sweet Spot

Current IT market is fertile ground for iSeries sales growth.

Current IT market is fertile ground for iSeries sales growth.

If you've heard any recent speeches by iSeries* General Manager Mark Shearer or Vice President of Marketing Peter Bingaman at COMMON or other industry events, you've likely heard them say that the current IT marketplace is centered on the "sweet spot" of the iSeries system.

Bingaman, who has been with IBM for nine years, is a firm believer that business-savvy IT professionals are becoming more and more interested in purchasing an integrated business system rather than a lower-priced commodity server to run their core business applications. That integrated business system just happens to be the iSeries system.

"These more business-savvy decision-makers are looking beyond the initial purchase price of a server. They're looking at the implications of a purchase three months, six months, one year out. And when they look at the iSeries system versus a commodity-PC purchase for instance, many of them are seeing that the business value of the iSeries system outweighs the short-term savings of a lower-priced server. They're seeing significant returns on their iSeries investments, sometimes in just a few months," he explains.

To find out Bingaman's thoughts about what he expects the new year to bring as well as his views on iSeries marketing in general, IBM* Systems Magazine, i5 Business Systems edition sat down with him recently.

Q: iSeries sales were up in the third quarter of 2005. ISVs are also noticing an upward sales trend in the iSeries space. Why is this happening now?

I think there are many reasons for this. As you know, we've had an extremely loyal set of customers over the past several years. And many of them put their investments in the iSeries platform on hold because they weren't too certain that IBM itself was investing very much in the platform moving forward. At the end of 2004, we made very aggressive and bold statements that IBM continued to see the iSeries system as a powerful platform for our current customers and for new customers. We backed up those statements with significant increases in marketing dollars, partner incentives and all of our resources dedicated to building the future vitality of our ISV partners. In fact, our investments in the iSeries Initiative for Innovation alone have succeeded in bringing more than 400 new iSeries applications into the market, more than 100 tools partners onto our developers road map and several hundred AIX* and Linux* applications to the platform.

In total, these investments sent a strong signal to the market that were back and were serious about this platform. We have really re-mobilized everyone, from our internal IBMers to our partners to our customers, and that has allowed more of them to therefore confidently invest in the platform once again.

"The reality of the situation is that we're getting thousands of new customers moving onto the iSeries platform every year. We're going to see roughly a 30-percent increase in new customers year-on-year from 2004 to 2005." -Peter Bingaman, iSeries vice president of marketing, IBM

Evelyn Hoover is the content director of IBM Systems magazine. She can be reached at



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