IBM Launches New Program to Woo Competitors' Software Customers

In a new program aimed at winning new software customers from its competitors, IBM has targeted Oracle and the database giant's database and middleware.

IBM has launched yet another effort to get its competitors' customers to move over to IBM's software and systems.

In particular, IBM is targeting Oracle with new migration resources to help Oracle software customers switch to IBM software. The new resources include no-charge financial and technology assessments, skills training courses, and proof of concepts to support clients ready to convert their Oracle investments to the latest in IBM software.

IBM also announced today that its lending arm, IBM Global Financing, is offering zero-percent financing to help Oracle customers move to new IBM software.

Indeed, IBM officials claim that in 2010, more than 1,000 Oracle database customers moved to IBM's DB2, and more than 400 Oracle WebLogic clients chose IBM's WebSphere.

For instance, IBM officials said Guangdong Rural Credit Cooperatives, the largest rural credit bank in China, chose IBM technology to build an enterprisewide banking system. The new IT infrastructure, built on DB2 and WebSphere software and Power Systems, will consolidate the data and integrate the business processes of all 99 member cooperatives. IBM was selected as the preferred partner over Oracle and HP, responsible for providing the core technology for the IT infrastructure and integrating the 23 disparate systems previously installed in member cooperatives, IBM said.

IBM also said the London branch of Deutsche Postbank AG is using a new IBM Smart Analytics System to help improve the quality and accuracy of its business reporting for risk monitoring, portfolio and collateral analysis. Prior to implementing the IBM analytics system, reporting for the bank was time-consuming and involved multiple staff members to manually collect data from disparate sources. Now, using IBM technology, the bank has a single view of business information and can make decisions based on up-to-date information. IBM's Smart Analytics System was chosen over offerings from Oracle and other vendors because it offered a fully integrated solution based on IBM's workload-optimized systems and industry-leading IBM analytics and middleware.

Meanwhile, IBM is providing access to new migration resources, including a no-charge, detailed financial analysis that shows cost savings that clients can achieve by switching from Oracle Database and Oracle WebLogic to IBM DB2 and WebSphere software. IBM also is providing a no-charge, customized technical evaluation and conversion plan to show clients how to move from Oracle to IBM software.

In addition, IBM said there are more than 100 online and in-person skills training courses to add certified DB2 skills to Oracle Database developer and database administrator teams, and WebSphere expertise to Oracle software teams. And IBM also offers a proof of concept where the company works with clients to perform a side-by-side cost and performance comparison between Oracle and IBM software at an IBM Software Lab or client site.

"We can help make the move to IBM Software extremely affordable with zero-percent financing," said Marcelo Lema, general manager of client financing for IBM Global Financing, in a statement. "Financing enables clients to use limited cash resources to run their business, while making it easy and cost-effective to migrate to industry-leading enterprise software."

IBM's financing support includes fast approvals on zero-percent financing for 12 months; no interest for 12 months; and flexible payment options and terms, including competitive 24- and 36-month rates with options that let clients match payments to anticipated cash flow. In addition, no hardware purchase is required.

"Clients are looking to IBM Software as an attractive alternative to forced migrations, uncertain product roadmaps, waning levels of support and rising licensing costs," said Bernie Spang, director of strategy for IBM Software, in a statement. "More importantly, clients find that making the switch to IBM Software helps them achieve their business goals faster and more economically."

IBM Global Financing, the financing business segment of IBM, serves commercial clients, ranging from small businesses to the Fortune 100. With assets of $36 billion worldwide, IBM Global Financing provides project financing, commercial financing and asset-recovery services to 125,000 clients in more than 50 countries, IBM said.