SOURCE: IBM

August 09, 2005 14:00 ET

IBM Outlines New Industry-Centric Linux Strategy

Expanded Industry Approach Delivers Solutions Built From Real Customer Engagements

SAN FRANCISCO, CA -- (MARKET WIRE) -- August 9, 2005 -- IBM today announced a major shift in how it develops and delivers Linux solutions to its customers throughout the world. The approach focuses on solutions to industry-specific IT and business problems faced by IBM's customers, rather than on products.

The move represents the most significant realignment of IBM's worldwide approach to Linux-related sales and marketing since it embraced Linux five years ago. IBM now ranks number one in overall Linux-based server revenue worldwide[1].

The announcement was made at a press conference at LinuxWorld in San Francisco.

Based on significant input from customers on what issues they are currently facing, IBM is not only aligning its Linux strategy by industry, but also building specific solutions around each identified customer challenge, which represents a shift from the standard vendor-led, product-led approach. Based on this customer input, as well as research and analysis on what issues are top of mind with IBM's customers, IBM is deploying solutions that address critical business issues faced by both IT and line of business decision makers that will enable customers to become more competitive in an on demand world.

The shift recognizes the growing demand from IBM customers to transform enterprise operations to become more responsive, real-time and on demand. As customers undertake these initiatives, both internally and among suppliers, partners and customers, many are realizing that open systems can drive significant transformational efficiency. As a result, IBM has moved to build the kinds of integrated solutions based on underlying systems that are open and can speed on demand transformation.

For IT decision makers, the solutions address four focus areas aligned by industry: Optimizing IT Investments, Business Flexibility, Leveraging Information Insight, and Business Resiliency, Security and Compliance. The line-of-business solutions have been developed for specific customer problems in the following seventeen industry segments: aerospace, automotive, banking, chemical and petroleum, consumer products, educations, electronics, energy and utilities, financial markets, government, healthcare, insurance, life sciences, media and entertainment, retail, telecommunications, and travel and transportation.

IBM has aligned each solution with a services-led delivery capability with specific business insight and solution customization by industry. This solution-delivery capability supports all operating system platforms relevant to IBM's customers, not just Linux, and is an extension of IBM's on demand strategy, which is now tied more closely to Linux.

The new solution-specific engagement model is already underway, with IBM engaged in more than 300 Linux-solution engagements in more than twenty countries already this year. The solutions draw on all of IBM's value-add, business insight and technical expertise with customers' IT and business problems and combines that expertise with IBM's industry-leading Linux capability bringing together IBM's unmatched services capability of more than 7,000 Linux professionals along with Linux enablement of IBM's entire eServer and storage lines and key middleware portfolio.

IT Solutions

Examples of industry IT solutions for Linux that support On Demand:

Infrastructure for Automotive Common Environment (ACE) - This solution integrates and optimizes an automotive company's IT environment to run IT as a business, drive business flexibility, productivity and innovation through IT, and simplify the IT infrastructure. The offerings in the ACE portfolio are built upon each other to achieve greater value. The offerings are Business Driven Application Management, Application Platform Unification, Computing Infrastructure Simplification and IT Business.

IBM Total Store Solutions - IBM's Store solutions focus on opportunities for the next-generation store. Total Store represents a solution combing Retail Store Solutions with technology from IBM hardware, software and services, as well as selected OEM partners. The solutions aim to improve the customer experience, streamline store operations, and improve in-store execution. Solutions include Point of Sale, Self-Checkout, Wireless/Networking, digital security, kiosks, etc.

Line of Business Solutions

Examples of line-of-business solutions for Linux that support On Demand:

Front Office Optimization for Banking - This solution is an example of a Multi-Channel Transformation and Integration Hub solution. It's designed to help banking customers replace channel-based systems and infrastructures to handle customer interaction in a consistent way including branch, call-center, self-service and other electronic channels.

Production and Supply Chain Transformation - The Production and Supply Chain Transformation solution framework is designed to drive costs out of Media and Entertainment businesses. This framework is designed to make companies more efficient through the deployment of technology to automate, manage and integrate existing support systems and link them cross-company in a more effective manner.

"IBM is expanding its leadership position in Linux by not only focusing on solutions beyond the operating system, but more importantly by focusing on what our clients are doing to solve business problems and become an on demand business," said IBM's Scott Handy, vice president, worldwide Linux. "We're building from our clients on out by realigning how we bring solutions to market to build dynamically customizable solutions to help our clients achieve success.

Adds Handy: "The next generation of solutions are being defined by the customer, not by the vendor. With this new approach, Linux is being embedded deep in all industries, down into the very fabric of every customer's business."

For more information about business industry solutions, visit http://www.ibm.com/solutions/us/. For more information about IT industry solutions, visit. http://www.ibm.com/ondemand.

About IBM

IBM is the world's largest information technology company, with 80 years of leadership in helping businesses innovate. Drawing on resources form across IBM and key Business Partners, IBM offers a wide range of services, solutions and technologies that enable customers, large and small, to take full advantage of the new era of e-business on demand. For more information about IBM's Grid computing business, please visit www.ibm.com/linux.

[1] Source: Based on Gartner's worldwide quarterly Server Tracker for 1Q05, issued on May 24, 2005.

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