Big Blue is looking for some more green with a new global services division targeting the lucrative enterprise resource planning market.
In fact, IBM will announce Tuesday at German enterprise resource planning giant SAP's user group conference, a new program targeting SAP customers that will include industry oriented services, ready-to-run R/3 systems preloaded on IBM Netfinity and AS/400 systems, and a host of other services such as adding e-commerce capability and financing.
"The new unit will combine IBM offerings through the prism of both IBM's market experience and its own internal use of these products, which helped IBM markedly reduce operating costs during its recent turnaround, to help its customers develop their own strategic postures, IBM executives said in a prepared statement.
IBM is in the midst of implementing SAP's R/3 to standardize its internal processes. The White Plains, New York-based firm is also implementing supply chain management systems from i2 Technologies in Irving, Texas, and other packaged software products.
The new enterprise resource planning unit is to be headed by Gregory W. Corgan, who previously headed up sales for IBM's software group. Corgan will report to Linda Sanford, general manager of IBM Global Industries, which will allow the enterprise resource planning unit to be closely linked to other units including new industry-specific centers of excellence that IBM is developing to address the needs of specific markets.
Besides its own dabbling in the enterprise resource planning world, IBM is banking customers will be attracted to its extensive line of infrastructure products including servers, databases, middleware, groupware, transactional software, e-commerce systems, and its history of business consulting services.
For the SAP program to be announced next week, IBM is planning to offer preconfigured R/3 systems loaded on its own hardware such as Netfinity servers or the AS/400. It is also offering programs to link R/3 to such IBM products as Lotus Notes and Domino, Tivoli TME/10, the DB2 database, Net.Commerce, and Secure Electronic Transactions.
IBM and SAP are also working to port SAP's R/3 specific data warehouse, the Business Information Warehouse, to the DB2 database family of products.