So what does this mean for IBM Business Partners (BPs) and ISVs?
What could very well differentiate IBM PureSystems from those of other competitors is to take what their partner NetApp has done with FlexPods combing third-party applications from Microsoft and SAP among others and take it to the next level. Similar to what helped make EMC Centera a success (or at least sell a lot of them) was inclusion and leveraging third-party ISVs and BPs to add value. Compared to other vendors with object based or content accessible storage (CAS) or online archive platforms that focused on the technology feature, function speeds and feeds, EMC realized the key was getting ISVs to support so that BPs and their own direct sales force could sell the solution.
With PureSystems, IBM is revisiting what they have done in the past which if offer bundled solutions providing incentives for ISVs to support and BPs to sell the IBM brand solution. EMC took an early step with including VMware with their Vblock combing server, storage, networking and software with NetApp taking the next step adding SAP, Microsoft and other applications. Dell, HP, Oracle and others are following suit so it only makes sense that IBM returns to its roots leveraging its DNA to reach out and get their ISVs who are now, have been in the past, or are new opportunities to be on board.
IBM is throwing its resources including their innovation centers for training around the world where business partners can get the knowledge and technical support they need. In other words, workshops or seminars on how to sell deploy and setting up of these systems, application and customer testing or proof of concepts and things one would expect out of IBM for such an initiative. In addition to technology and sales training along with marketing support, IBM is making their financing capabilities available to help customers as well as offer incentives to their business partners to simplify acquisitions.
So what buzzword bingo topics and themes did IBM address with this announcement:
IBM did a fantastic job in terms of knocking the ball out of the park with this announcement pertaining buzzword bingo and deserves an atta boy or atta girl!
So what about how this will affect sales of Bladecenters or other systems?
If all IBM and their BPs do are, encroach on existing systems sales to circle the wagons and protect the installed base, which would be one thing. However if IBM and their BPs can use the new packaging and model approach to reestablish customers and partnerships, or open and expand into new adjacent markets, then the net differences should be more Bladecenters (excuse me, PureFlex) being sold.
So what will this cost?
IBM is citing entry PureSystems Express models starting at around $100,000 USD for base systems with others starting at around $200,000 and $300,000 expandable into larger configurations and budgets. Note that like airlines that advertise a low airfare and then you get to pay extra for peanuts, drinks, extra bag space, changes to reservations and so forth, look at these and related systems not just for the first starting price, also for expansion costs over different time periods. Contact IBM, your BP or ISV to find out what one of these systems will do for and cost you.
So what about VARs and IBM business partners (BPs)?
This could be a boon for those BPs and ISVs that had previously sold their software solutions bundled with IBM hardware platforms who were being challenged by other converged solution stacks or were being forced to unbundled. This will also allow those business partners to compete on par with other converged solutions or continue selling the pieces of what they are familiar with however under a new umbrellas. Of course, pricing will be a focus and concern for some who will want to see what added value exists vs. acquiring the various components. This also means that IBM will have to make incentives available for their partners to make a living while also allowing their customers to afford solutions and maximize their return on innovation (the new ROI) and enablement.
Here are some links to learn more:
Various IBM Redbooks and related content
The blame game: Does cloud storage result in data loss?
What do you need when its time to buy a new server?
2012 industry trends perspectives and commentary (predictions)
Convergence: People, Processes, Policies and Products
Buzzword Bingo and Acronym Update V2.011
The function of XaaS(X) Pick a letter
Hard product vs. soft product
Buzzword Bingo and Acronym Update V2.011
Part I: PureSystems, something old, something new, something from big blue
Part II: PureSystems, something old, something new, something from big blue
Part III: PureSystems, something old, something new, something from big blue
Part IV: PureSystems, something old, something new, something from big blue
Part V: PureSystems, something old, something new, something from big blue
Cloud and Virtual Data Storage Networking
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