Veritas, IBM Deal Smart for Both

Part of Veritas' plan to expand globally.

Enterprise Storage Management got another jolt forward when Veritas Software Corp. officials announced Dec. 11 that IBMs Global Services division is now a reseller of their entire product line.

The deal, which already is under way, has something for everyone. Veritas customers will gain access to IBMs massive consulting, implementation, support and maintenance capabilities. In return, IBM gets Veritas expertise in storage and numerous operating systems as well as access to Veritas customer base for its own Global Services unit.

Bill North, an analyst with International Data Corp., said the deal is a smart one for both companies.

"I think its good. It really, from a customer point of view, gives people more options," said North, in Framingham, Mass. "Its unusual to find two companies that occupy that much space that are potentially competitors to enter into cooperative arrangements on this scope.

"I looked pretty extensively trying to find something thats a gotcha and, frankly, didnt come up with anything. It allows [IBM] to say yes to those customers that have already made a Veritas decision."

The deal is just one part of Veritas plan to expand globally, said Don Foster, vice president of partner sales at the Mountain View, Calif., company. Foster would not elaborate on the rest of the expansion plans.

For the near term, the deal is meant to "jointly deliver enterprise-class storage management solutions. Its a relatively new relationship," Foster said. "We basically approached each other. We were looking for an alliance to bring together our data software applications with a trusted adviser in consulting and infrastructure management."

Meanwhile, IBM plans to use Veritas customer base to extend its global services sales in "everything from the networking and base infrastructure all the way up to the application space," said Don Bradford, general manager of storage services for the Armonk, N.Y., company.

Besides the United States, the deal immediately applies to Canada and Latin America and will apply to Europe and the Far East in the near future, officials said.

The worldwide storage management software market could be as large as $10.7 billion by 2005, according to IDC.