Turbolinux, IBM to cover Sherwin-Williams stores

By Peter Galli  |  Posted 2002-05-23 Print this article Print

Paint manufacturer Sherwin-Williams Co. announced that it is installing an in-store network that will consist of 9,700 IBM NetVista personal computers running Turbolinux.

In a major coup for both Turbolinux and IBM, paint manufacturer Sherwin-Williams Co. announced Thursday that it is installing an in-store network that will consist of 9,700 IBM NetVista personal computers running Turbolinux. The multi-million dollar deal, which Ralph Martino, the vice president of strategy for IBM Global Services in Armonk, N.Y, called the largest Linux deployment ever in the U.S. retail industry, would see Sherwin-Williams roll the network out across its 2,500 stores in the U.S., Canada and Puerto Rico.
Each store will have two to three workstations, with another serving as an in-store server, with the goal of improving customer service by enabling accessibility to servers and their respective applications from any workstation in the store, Martino told eWeek in an interview.
"Sherwin-Williams asked IBM Global Services to migrate its retail stores legacy operating systems from SCO Unix to Linux. They wanted us to implement a new point-of-sale environment in the stores that consisted of both IBM and other OEM hardware. They wanted a more open, non-proprietary end-to-end solution from us," he said. All Sherwin-Williams legacy point-of-sale and inventory applications have been ported to Linux. Peripherals like printers, scanners, cash drawers and switches would be Linux compatible and bought from some 12 hardware vendors. Five installations have already been completed at stores in Cleveland, and the remaining stores would be done before the end of the second quarter of 2003. IBM Global Services will provide maintenance and technical support on an ongoing basis. Bill Thompson, Director of Information Technology for Sherwin-Williams Paint Stores Group, in Cleveland said the company needs flexible technical solutions to maintain leadership in its competitive environment. "We need a customer facing platform that can be easily integrated with our future and existing systems. The solution weve developed with IBM will help us do that," he said. This latest Linux win follows that of advertising agency BBDO Interactive, which in February announced that it would use Linux to develop and host Web sites and applications for those clients who required availability of 99.99 percent and higher for their business-critical applications.
Peter Galli has been a financial/technology reporter for 12 years at leading publications in South Africa, the UK and the US. He has been Investment Editor of South Africa's Business Day Newspaper, the sister publication of the Financial Times of London.

He was also Group Financial Communications Manager for First National Bank, the second largest banking group in South Africa before moving on to become Executive News Editor of Business Report, the largest daily financial newspaper in South Africa, owned by the global Independent Newspapers group.

He was responsible for a national reporting team of 20 based in four bureaus. He also edited and contributed to its weekly technology page, and launched a financial and technology radio service supplying daily news bulletins to the national broadcaster, the South African Broadcasting Corporation, which were then distributed to some 50 radio stations across the country.

He was then transferred to San Francisco as Business Report's U.S. Correspondent to cover Silicon Valley, trade and finance between the US, Europe and emerging markets like South Africa. After serving that role for more than two years, he joined eWeek as a Senior Editor, covering software platforms in August 2000.

He has comprehensively covered Microsoft and its Windows and .Net platforms, as well as the many legal challenges it has faced. He has also focused on Sun Microsystems and its Solaris operating environment, Java and Unix offerings. He covers developments in the open source community, particularly around the Linux kernel and the effects it will have on the enterprise.

He has written extensively about new products for the Linux and Unix platforms, the development of open standards and critically looked at the potential Linux has to offer an alternative operating system and platform to Windows, .Net and Unix-based solutions like Solaris.

His interviews with senior industry executives include Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer, Linus Torvalds, the original developer of the Linux operating system, Sun CEO Scot McNealy, and Bill Zeitler, a senior vice president at IBM.

For numerous examples of his writing you can search under his name at the eWEEK Website at www.eweek.com.


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