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System i Vertical Industry Program Boosts Sales for IBM and Business Partners


IBM (NYSE: IBM) announced today that the System i Vertical Industry Program (VIP) has significantly increased the number of new clients choosing the System i business computing platform.

The VIP was introduced for the System i platform in January to grow a leadership position for both IBM and its Business Partners in sub-industries in which System i can provide a unique business advantage. The VIP has since dramatically outpaced projected success, launching over 160 sub-industries in more than 20 countries and exceeding financial targets.

The program builds a strong community of solution providers, resellers, and integrators focused on solving very specific customer needs through co-marketing activity, sales support and stronger connections among Business Partners. Clients benefit from competitively-priced solutions optimized to integrate with the System i for faster, easier implementation as well as specialized knowledge of their business requirements.

“The success of the Vertical Industry Program is predicated on IBM’s understanding that small and medium businesses identify themselves in the context of their industry and therefore seek industry-specific expertise,” said Marc Dupaquier, general manager of IBM Business Systems. “The VIP is now the backbone of our sales and Business Partner strategy for the new Business Systems division and will move existing and future IBM technology to small and medium businesses with the help of Business Partners.”
ISV Partner Success
IBS was one of the first partners to join the VIP and has since seen its System i sales grow markedly. One of the sub-industries IBS specializes in is book publishing in the Western US and, working through the VIP, IBS recently won new client Oregon Catholic Press, a not-for-profit publisher of liturgical music and worship resources based in Portland, Oregon.

Oregon Catholic Press is adopting an integrated System i solution called IBS Bookmaster, which is specifically designed for the book distribution and publishing industry. The company plans to use the new system for sales order, inventory, warehouse and royalty management as well as editorial production and a fully integrated financial system. Oregon Catholic Press expects the total solution will create process improvements while reducing costs and improving customer service.

In August, Infor joined the VIP with a focus on the janitorial, sanitation supply industry and this month is expanding its participation to include the restaurant and hospital supply markets. Through the VIP, Dixie Paper -- a wholesale paper, chemical and sanitary maintenance distributor serving Northern Louisiana and East Texas -- recently selected Infor ERP A+ to manage several of its business processes. The combined Infor, IBM solution enables Dixie Paper to recognize operational efficiencies across its enterprise and to bring new value-added services to its customers.

Another early participant in the VIP is KMR Systems, a national company whose VIP segment is labor unions in the Eastern US. Since joining the program, KMR has won new clients and expects VIP to quadruple its business. Thanks to greater support from IBM and access to more resources, KMR says it has the healthiest pipeline of System i customers ever.

Sanmarco, an ERP software provider in Italy, plans to expand to new international markets and double its System i business in 2008 thanks to the VIP. The program helped Sanmarco win many new System i customers as well as renew the interest of some long-standing customers, including Fip Aricoli Tecnici. A manufacturing company established in 1946, Fip Aricoli Tecnici selected Sanmarco’s Galileo ERP application on System i, allowing the company to carry more products and process orders quickly – ultimately improving customer satisfaction.

Timpanogos Technologies is an IBM Business Partner and K-12 Education ISV involved with the VIP in the Western US. Timpanogos Technologies is working with IBM to use its System i equipment to support a national base of more than 200 school districts in 28 states.

Olathe Northwest High School in Olathe Kansas recently implemented wireless technology from Timpanagos to provide handheld computers for every student, integrated with the school district’s IBM System i. Teachers send assignments, tests and teaching materials wirelessly to their students; time spent in the clerical tasks of scoring and recording homework, assignments and tests is greatly reduced, giving teachers immediate and on-going knowledge as to how each student is doing, along with more time to spend with students.
System i SMB momentum
The System i VIP also helps make IBM’s new System i Express offerings available to small and medium businesses. Introduced in April, System i Express is a complete, simple IT infrastructure designed to grow with a business. These high performing, easy-to-use systems deliver a better alternative to Windows-based servers.

System i Express helps IBM Business Partners sell System i to much smaller clients, providing Business Partners an entry point into a previously untapped market. As a result, System i Express drove double digit growth last quarter.

Oracle® and SAP® Solution Editions
IBM announced today new Solution Editions for Oracle and SAP applications specifically designed and optimized for the IBM System i Express for 40 users or more – the model 525.

The new System i 525 Solution Edition for Oracle’s JD Edwards is a total solution tailored to help meet the needs of JD Edwards EnterpriseOne and JD Edwards World application users with configurations for up to 60 users and improved price performance and total cost of ownership. Cox Auto Trader Publishing, Inc., a paper well known for facilitating car sales throughout California, recently selected a System i Solution Edition to run Oracle JD Edwards EnterpriseOne World software.

The System i 525 Solution Edition for SAP Applications is for companies with fewer than 100 users. Earlier this year, IBM began a project known as “KOBI” to help further boost new sales of SAP on System i by enabling clients get their SAP applications up and running faster. Project KOBI has successfully helped to reduce the time it typically takes to install a suite of SAP applications from a matter of weeks to a few days. System i is the only platform to deliver the efficiency gains of Project KOBI.


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