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IBM, Sun expand database pact

The two firms ink an expanded database software marketing and development deal, though database server software sales are down elsewhere.

There may be a slowdown in database server software sales, but IBM hasn't noticed.

The company today inked an expanded database software marketing and development deal with Sun Microsystems to keep the juggernaut rolling.

While Oracle, Sybase, and Informix Software have seen database revenue plummet in recent quarters, IBM executives today said its sales are booming.

IBM's first-quarter database software sales on Unix and Windows NT climbed a whopping 110 percent compared to the same period last year, said Janet Perna, general manager of database management for IBM's software solutions division.

Oracle and Microsoft also claim that Windows NT-based database sales are booming.

Perhaps more importantly, sales of high-margin mainframe database software climbed 11 percent year over year, Perna said.

To keep the gravy train rolling, IBM today inked an expanded joint marketing and technology pact with Sun to optimize IBM's DB2 database for Sun's high-end Unix servers.

Perna said IBM is expanding database software sales through partnerships and data warehousing deals with companies such as Sun, SAP, and other business software providers.

"The segment that is growing in double digits is in databases used for business intelligence and data warehousing," said Perna.

Perna also said that IBM will add an additional 1,000 sales representatives, committed to selling database software and related products, over the next 18 months.

IBM has spent much of the past year building its support for Windows NT. In February, the company announced that it is building three new software suites--one for small businesses, one for departments of large companies, and one for entire companies--intended to run on Windows NT.

The suites, expected to ship later this year, were launched to help IBM compete with Microsoft's BackOffice server bundle. IBM's suites will include its DB2 database software, TXSeries transaction server software, MQSeries messaging software, Tivoli management tools, and the company's Domino Web-based groupware.