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IBM to take J.D. Edwards global

Big Blue's global services division is forming a worldwide service dedicated to the implementation of the Denver-based enterprise software company.

Big Blue is taking an old and loyal friend around the world.

IBM's global services division announced this week that it is forming a worldwide service dedicated to the implementation of Denver-based J.D. Edwards' software.

J.D. Edwards has IBM to partially thank for its rise to one of the top spots in the business applications industry. The enterprise software company made a name for itself selling applications that run on IBM's AS/400 server. However, while versions for Microsoft's Windows NT and for Unix are now available, AS/400 customers still comprises the majority of J.D. Edwards' installed base.

IBM already has 600 staff members dedicated to implementing J.D. Edwards' software, mostly in North America. IBM expects to add another 400 or more to the practice next year to help implement J.D. Edwards' One World product at companies around the world.

Services are a gold mine of revenue for software companies. Most of the enterprise application vendors are gaining more and more of their revenue from providing services to their customers. Service companies like IBM, for example, increasingly are dedicating entire segments of their practice to the enterprise software market.

IBM recently announced a new division completely dedicated to the market, and specific programs for leading vendors like J.D. Edwards and SAP.

These programs put IBM in a strategic position to become the lead infrastructure supplier for the market, a position that Big Blue is constantly jockeying for against Microsoft, its friend and foe.

In fact, IBM recently announced new Lotus Domino Connectors for OneWorld to help secure its Lotus division products as a vital piece of plumbing in the enterprise applications architecture.