Teaming up in an effort to go after the mid-enterprise market, IBM and J.D. Edwards have launched a tailor-made e-server created to address the specific needs of mid-enterprise customers.

“It’s my dream machine,” said J.D. Edwards CEO and chairman Ed McVaney as the black box bearing both companies logos was rolled out on stage during day two of Focus 2001, J.D. Edwards’ annual user group conference.

Dubbed “the box that Ed built” the server is designed to run J.D. Edwards’s software for small to medium size businesses, optimized for OneWorld collaborative commerce and supply chain management applications. The Eserver will be configured to run HTML,Java or Linux, and is said to be the first server co-branded with an independent software vendor.

The machine has also been priced to attract the mid-market, said Kim Stevenson, vice-president of IBM’s server group. The first in the series, a 100 user, pre-packaged configuration will be launched in late July, selling for U.S.$75,000 compared to a similar NT system priced at $67,000. The difference in price is minimal says J.D. Edwards country manager Ron Reed, pointing out that because the machine is already configured to run with J.D. Edwards software, it reduces the need for a database administrator or other maintenance costs.

“I’m surprised it’s as low as it is,” he said “You have to look at the total cost of ownership over time.”

Reed said current J.D. Edwards/AS400 users will be able to migrate to the new eServer as their current leases come up for renewal, and as new applications drive them to upgrade.

The eServer will be marketed by J.D. Edwards and IBM channel partners, giving both companies access to customers they didn’t sell into before, says Les Wyatt, chief marketing officer with J.D. Edwards.

“It’s giving us reach into markets we don’t particularly reach well today, particularly the international market,” he said.

For IBM, overseas markets such as China are becoming increasingly important, representing the fastest-growing segment of the server market.

“Both of us are looking for new customers and this price point gives us access to customers we hadn’t reached before. It’s a nice integrated offering that is easier to sell,” said Stevenson, adding that turnkey solutions will be in high demand in those countries.

Looking almost exclusively towards the mid-market, Wyatt said J.D. Edwards has identified a US$209 billion revenue opportunity over the next five years, projected to give the company an annual growth rate of 26 per cent.

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