IBM Expands Grid Computing Ecosystem

New IBM Business Partners and Offerings Expand Resources for Rapid Growth of Grid Computing

(PresseBox) ( WASHINGTON, )
IBM (NYSE: IBM) today announced a set of new grid computing programs and access to IBM business and technical resources to help its Business Partners sell more grid computing solutions.

The new programs are designed for IBM Business Partners to aggressively and successfully win clients and realize a more substantial return on investment in the mid-market and enterprise segments. The company also announced a rapid expansion in application support for the company's grid business, adding an average of one new Business Partner a week since January 2006.

A long-time IBM Grid Business Partner, Platform Computing has seen a positive impact on its business through a partnership with IBM. "As a founding partner of the IBM Grid and Grow program, Platform has seen significant traction in the market with this initiative which has had a positive impact on our business," said Chris Purpura, Vice President of Strategic Alliances and New Ventures of Platform. "By combining our technology with IBM, we have benefited from new business opportunities and increased visibility in key markets and look forward to continuing to provide compelling solutions for our mutual customers."

The IBM Grid Ecosystem program is designed to assist IBM Grid Business Partners in building skills, partnerships, offerings and sales opportunities. IBM is enhancing the ecosystem program with a new "Grid and Grow Test Drive" offering for IBM Reseller Partners with Business Partner Innovation Centers (BPIC). The program provides IBM Business Partners access to IBM's Grid and Grow Offering including select Business Partner technologies, allowing BPIC Partners to demonstrate grid computing solutions to clients. To kick off this initiative, IBM is working with Grid and Grow Infrastructure Partners to offer select BPICs throughout North America a means of demonstrating the benefits of grid computing to the market.

The program includes assistance in providing technical and industry education, sales enablement, support and tools to help IBM Business Partners assist clients in building and deploying grid computing solutions. The IBM Business Partners also provide a "real world" environment in the innovation centers to simulate client scenarios and test applications. These BPICs will help clients plan, build and implement grid computing solutions. New centers of competence developed by Business Partners will give customers an environment to simulate real world scenarios and test applications.

One of the first IBM BPICs to create a "Grid and Grow Test Drive" is Jeskell, located in Sunnyvale, California. "We have years of experience working with our customers. We know their budgets and what resources they have and need. We also know that almost all clients can save money and get more out of their infrastructure through grid computing. The key is showing them," said Javed Kahn, President and CEO, Jeskell. "Like when buying a new car, customers can come in, get a demonstration, 'kick the tires,' ask questions and take the technology for a 'spin.' The hands-on experience creates a greater comfort with both the TCO and the benefits and ROI of grid computing and that comfort is translating to sales."

In addition, IBM is expanding its ValueNetwork Initiative to include Grid Business Partners. The ValueNetwork Initiative offers IBM Business Partners a way to build selling ecosystems in which to take solutions such as IBM's Grid and Grow offering to market. Having proven the programs' success in pilot programs in the US and Europe, IBM is now expanding this initiative beyond the pilot phase to worldwide implementation. Linking the Business Partners together allows channel partners to accelerate their business opportunities by building joint business plans and identifying new client opportunities collaborating with grid-enabled application ISVs and Grid infrastructure providers.

One of the newly recruited IBM Business Partners to the ecosystem program's Value Added Distributor network is Avnet Technology Solutions. "We are seeing great benefits from our participation in the IBM Grid Ecosystem," said Sara Jensen, Vice President, Product Marketing, IBM Business Unit, Avnet Technology Solutions, Americas. "Our role as a Value Added Distributor not only enabled us to further extend our business to a broader range of clients, but IBM has also provided us with the tools necessary to help our customers effectively build and grow their grid solutions in order to meet their overall business goals and achieve quality results."

The IBM Grid Ecosystem program, an education, enablement and co-marketing program, is designed to create new revenue and marketing opportunities for IBM Business Partners and to make IBM grid offerings available to a wider audience of clients by providing hands-on access to grid offerings and technology. Already more than 30 percent of IBM's grid computing business is garnered through Business Partners.

"IBM is helping our Business Partners further take advantage of an explosive market opportunity," said Ken King, Vice President, IBM Grid Computing. "By providing enterprise and mid-market clients access to our leading grid technology portfolio, market-leading experience and infrastructure, we are providing a differentiator in the market. We are accelerating our work with trusted IBM Business Partners integrating, bundling and jointly delivering grid computing offerings to the market. These integrated offerings ensure that we are delivering the best possible business value to our clients."

IBM also announced today an expansion of its "Ready for Grid" application validation program, which allows application providers to test their solutions against established technical criteria to ensure compatibility with existing grid technology. IBM currently has more than 80 different ISVs worldwide who have grid enabled their applications, adding on average one new partner a week. New Ready for Grid ISVs announced today include: Bycast, Cluster Resources, EDSSP, GemStone, GigaSpaces, Grid App, GridSystems, NICE, Nimaya, Quadbase, Tangosol and Themis Computer.
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