IBM Launches System i Package for Oracle Users

The company looks to give SMBs an alternative to Intel-based systems with a new all-in-one hardware and software package.

IBM is looking to give smaller businesses running Oracles ERP applications an alternative to Windows-based offerings on Intel-powered servers with the latest in a series of System i packages aimed at the small and midtier space.

The Armonk, N.Y., company in August will start shipping its System i 520 Solution Edition for Oracles JD Edwards EnterpriseOne, an all-in-one hardware and software package that—starting at $21,921—is priced to compete with the traditionally less expensive Intel systems, said Carter Adkinson, IBMs System i global sales and business development manager for Oracle.

"Were trying to go at the low-end here, and trying to give the user an alternative to Wintel," Adkinson said.

Such systems historically have had a lower initial price but higher operational costs than the System i platform, he said. System i offers as much as 10 times less planned downtime and two times longer life than comparable Intel-based systems, he said.

IBM currently has about 5,000 customers worldwide running JD Edwards on System i servers. The platform is powered by IBMs Power architecture and runs Linux, Windows and AIX.

The new System i offering is aimed at small and midsized businesses, or SMBs, that are looking for a product for 100 users or less, Adkinson said. The SMB gets all the functions of an ERP (enterprise resources management) system, such as asset lifecycle, financials and supply chain management, plus such built-in hardware features as security, anti-virus capabilities, backup, management and storage.

The announcement July 11 comes a few months after Oracle, of Redwood Shores, Calif., said in April that it was going to continue enhancing its JD Edwards applications.

Channel player Avnet, of Phoenix, has been working with Oracle for about eight months to create a channel to bring JD Edwards products to the SMB space, said Scott Abbott, vice president for Avnet Technology Solutions. Part of that has been working with both Oracle and IBM in developing the System i offering, Abbott said.

The new package gives SMBs, which often lack the number of skilled IT employees of their larger brethren, the same capabilities at a smaller price, he said.

"Whats great about the [System i] platform is that its easy to get up and running, they stay running and they dont have a lot of issues," Abbott said.

IBM targets its System i platform at smaller businesses, giving them a package offering that keeps deployment and management issues low. The SMB space is an important one for IBM, representing about 20 percent its overall revenues, said Tamara Turnley-Robinson, IBM System i Americas sales and business development manager for Oracle.

IBM defines small businesses as those with up to 99 employees, and the midmarket as companies with up to 1,000 workers.


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