By eweek  |  Posted 2006-06-22 Print this article Print

Both IBM and the user group SHARE have talked about the importance of bringing new people into the mainframe business through such programs as zNextGen. How successful have you been in reaching your goals in this area? When you get new blood, you get new ideas. You also get new customers. So weve got a concerted effort to bring a number of new people [into the mainframe business]. I need you to think about it like I do—its not just new people, its a new ecosystem, its an expanding ecosystem, and the ecosystem includes skills at the customer site, skills at IBM, on the innovation side as well as the delivery side, skills at the ISV, the application developers, skills at the university level—instructors, teachers, programs, as well as students.
I think of it as this circle that surrounds the platform, and all of the touch points—operators, engineers, technicians, innovators, scientists, as well as users and the people that provide the users, and the lifeblood of applications that run on the platform. So weve got a thrust that goes out on all of those strike points, so weve grown the number of applications year to year.
I think Linux applications are up to 800 that now run on the platform. Weve got 1,300 ISVs in the ecosystem, and weve got goals to dramatically grow that. And by the way, for Linux the growth is 30 percent year to year. Youve heard about the academic initiatives. There are actually 300 colleges in that orbit right now. We pledged to put 20,000 students—by 2010—and we are close to 16,000 students and professionals being in the program now, so we will easily exceed the 2010 target of 20,000. We wanted to get 10,000 professionals in China, and well exceed that. One of the ways well do it is … in April we announced the Shanghai Lab, which is the Linux software lab. Theyre going to focus on Linux software for the mainframe. And youll hear about other labs opening up in the emerging markets, in Russia, India [and] China. You followed our chairmans visit … to India where he announced $6 billion of investment in India over the next three years, so were very much a part of that. So were making a big push to get brain power, money. … So I know we talk about the young kids … but this is much bigger than that. Its probably as big as our opportunity to go after new customers. Check out eWEEK.coms for the latest news, views and analysis on servers, switches and networking protocols for the enterprise and small businesses.


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