NEW YORK—IBM executives are preparing to announce at the LinuxWorld trade show here that the company received more than $1 billion in revenue from sales of Linux-based software, hardware and services in 2002.
Big Blue will also formally introduce Jim Stallings, its new general manager of Linux, to the media and Linux community. Stallings, who was IBMs vice president of eServer sales (North America), replaces Steve Solazzo, who is on “special assignment” integrating Rational Software Corp. into IBM.
Solazzo spearheaded Big Blues thrust into Linux and is credited with building it into a billion-dollar business.
In his keynote address on Thursday, IBM Senior Vice President Steven Mills will talk about the $1 billion in revenue from Linux-based hardware, software and services last year.
Scot Handy, IBMs director of Linux Solutions Marketing, told eWEEK in an interview Tuesday that its software revenues associated with systems running Linux more than doubled in 2002 from 2001. But he declined to give specific numbers or break down how much of the $1 billion in revenue came from the software, hardware and services components.
“IBM now has 67 software products that run on Linux,” Handy said. “This includes DB2, WebSphere, Lotus and Tivoli software. WebSphere, mostly WebSphere Application Server and WebSphere Commerce suite, and DB2 are leading the field in terms of sales, while demand for our WebSphere portal software is also all on the rise.”
Auto insurance company Mercury Insurance Group was a new customer win and is using IBM eServer xSeries Intel-based systems running Linux to power its new Java-based Web portals for both employees and independent agents, Handy said.
Sales of IBMs AIX Unix software also grew over the past year, he said, largely at the expense of Sun Microsystems Inc.s Solaris operating environment. “Our Linux growth was also at the expense of Sun. A lot of this growth is new customer acquisition,” Handy said.
“The real flaw is that Sun was forced to adopt Linux and suddenly they had two operating systems to deal with. Our WebSphere business on Solaris is surging because Sun helped us sell the vision of Java, but they are not delivering the software stack on anything but Solaris. We now have 2 million active developers in the WebSphere developer domain,” he said.
IBM is also finding that many Windows customers now want some Linux, Handy said, but they do not want to throw away their Windows investment. “We have software that runs on Windows, Unix and Linux, and they like our vision, combined with Java, far more than they do the Microsoft-centric .Net vision.
“Which is why Microsoft is struggling with the positioning of that whole thing,” he said, referring Microsofts recent decision to drop the .Net in the official name of its upcoming Windows Server 2003.
IBM also on Wednesday will make a slew of product and new customer announcements at the show. Among the new customer wins to be announced will be Unilever, a multibrand company whose products include Ragu, Lipton and Elizabeth Arden.
Unilever will standardize its infrastructure on Linux and has signed a multiyear contract with Big Blue to help it migrate to Linux. The deal includes hardware, software and services, an IBM spokeswoman told eWEEK.
German-based Grohe, which designs, manufactures and distributes water faucets, is another customer win for IBM. It will implement a solution based on MySAP CRM Mobile Sales running DB2 database software for Linux on IBMs eServer xSeries.
And the PGA Tour will offer TourCast, a first-of-its-kind online application that enables golf fans to follow tournament action in real time. Fans can get up-to-date information on golf matches, watch the play live, zoom in and replay shots and the like.
The TourCast application runs on Linux Virtual Services—an on-demand service that IBM hosts on virtual servers on its eServer zSeries mainframes and Enterprise Storage Servers—enabling the PGA Tour to pay only for the power and capacity required to meet actual consumer demand.
VeriSign Inc., which provides digital trust services, is also moving all of its public key infrastructure services from Solaris to Linux, using IBMs xSeries servers, Handy said. VeriSign has already deployed about two dozen IBM x330 servers on the West Coast to support the migration, and plans to significantly boost that number early this year.
“Our Linux business continues to grow. We have netted some 1,700 new Linux customers since last August. We now have 6,300 Linux customers, compared to the 4,600 we had last August, across a range of industries and usages,” Handy said.