IBM further cemented its relationship to long-time partner SAP with today's announcement of a $40 million investment by Big Blue.
Specifically, IBM said it plans to spend the money over the next five years to test, enable and support SAP applications on IBM's System z mainframe series.Part of the investment will also be applied to SAP technical centers in Germany and the U.S., where proof of concept and other customer support activities take place.
Neither IBM nor SAP made any product or technology announcements in a teleconference with media."The news today is we are offering an integrated set of solutions that work together, are proven and tested," said Jim Stallings, general manager for IBM System z.
IBM did also announce an incentive program, for companies that buy an IBM mainframe and implement SAP and IBM's DB2 database, of up to $250,000.
Analyst Charles King with Pund-IT said IBM and SAP working together makes a lot of sense.
"SAP represents the gold standard for one level of enterprise business applications and IBM's customers mirror SAP's enterprise focus."
Stallings said the SAP investment is intended to help new mainframe customers and others looking to consolidate the "IT sprawl" of having to manage a multitude of servers.
He also noted IBM's mainframe sales are up 7 percent year-over-year and ticked off several benefits of the large systems, including security, reliability and applications such as IBM's mainstay DB2 database.
Stallings said one customer, Baldor Electric, has had zero downtime since installing the mainframe in 1997.
IBM also plans to give a higher marketing profile to its z9 Integrated Information Processor (zIIP)processor introduced in January, but not broadly available until May.
The high-speed zIIP co-processor for the z9 mainframe minimizes the need to maintain duplicate copies of corporate data.
In addition, zIIP is designed to free up general computing capacity and lower the cost of running business intelligence, enterprise resource planning and customer relationship management applications on z9 mainframes.
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