IBM  to unveil e-business on demand plans

For months, IBM executives have been extolling the virtues of its promised pay-as-you-go computing model without revealing services or pricing. But starting next week, Big Blue’s partners and customers will get a peek at the bottom line.

IBM

Canada officials said at a press conference Friday that a series of announcements will be made over the next three weeks with some details of how resellers and independent software vendors will be able to profit from the dream of letting companies buy computing power as needed, which it calls e-business on demand.

Tom Turchet, vice-president of midmarket marketing for IBM Canada, said in an interview his company believes there will be big opportunities for resellers from its on-demand computing service.

“”Are we going to make it worthwhile for them? You bet your life we are, because we can’t do it alone,”” he said.

“”Seventy per cent of IBM’s small and medium business in Canada goes through partners,”” Turchet said, “”That’s not going to change. We are not on a strategy to reduce or eliminate resellers. We want more.””

Gary Isaccs, IBM Canada’s director for partner relations suggested that a reseller could get a share of the monthly fee a customer pays for using IBM’s computing services, just as it gets a share of a hardware upgrade.

“”We would still expect a set of services, both sales and integration, to support that (computing on demand) solution for customer,”” he added.

IBM has long touted what it calls computing on demand, saying it will invest $10 billion to build data centres around the world for hosting corporate core applications and storage.

IBM called upon integrators and users to endorse its vision of the future. When pressed by reporters for details on how their companies will benefit, however, they admitted they’re waiting for news from IBM.

For example, Daniel Duffy, president of Markham, Ont.-based Mid-Range Computer Group, which designs and installs hardware and infrastructure for companies such as GlaxoSmithKline Canada and Panasonic Canada, said mid-sized customers with variable computing power needs want what he called “”pay as you go”” outsourcing.

Duffy, who is the Canadian representative on IBM’s business partner advisory council, also said he is certain the vendor will make room for resellers to take a slice of business going to mid-size users, but so far he hasn’t seen how.

“”I know there’s a chance they (IBM) could eat their young,”” he said. “”Regardless of whether I want to or not, I have to adapt to this,”” he said. “”Maybe I position myself to become the biggest reseller of IBM on demand services.””

But he also believes companies will continue buying hardware, software and support services for non-core applications and connectivity to IBM’s data centre.

The briefing also heard a Canadian spokesman for enterprise resource planning software vendor JD Edwards, an IBM partner, promise it will soon announce how it will sell on-demand computing services to mid-size companies.

Comment: info@itbusiness.ca

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