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New IBM Software, Resources Accelerate Innovation on the New z10, the World’s Most Powerful Business Computer


IBM (NYSE: IBM) today unveiled new software and resources to educate the next generation workforce on building applications for the IBM z10 Enterprise Class, the new IBM mainframe introduced today at events in Mumbai, Munich, New York and Tokyo.

The new offerings will help software developers, business partners and academia learn new skills to help them compete in the globally economy. According to Wintergreen Research, building applications that run new workloads on the mainframe will be an estimated $6.6 billion market by 2012. As a part of today’s news, IBM is announcing new software and resources designed to help the global community harness this growing demand in the marketplace.

New software helps unleash the power of the mainframe
As an extension of IBM’s $100 million Mainframe Simplification investment announced in 2006, the new software will help software developers, testers, project managers and information technology (IT) architects more easily program, manage and administer a mainframe system -- as well as increasingly automate the development and deployment of mainframe applications. For some clients with specialized needs, existing business-critical applications have evolved so many times over the years that they sometimes resemble a tangled web of so-called spaghetti code. Today’s announcement will help to simplify these applications with modern tools that are easy to use by developers with current skills.

The new IBM software, called IBM Rational Business Developer, helps System z clients and developers shorten deployment cycles; even developers with diverse technical backgrounds can jointly create higher-value technology solutions. For example, it can help developers create new business applications for the System z platform without them having to be familiar with the underlying middleware or platform technologies.

The new IBM Rational software also turns existing COBOL-based applications into Web services. This makes it easier for customers to discover, transform and integrate their existing COBOL and PL/I assets as Web services; generate clean, highly efficient COBOL or Java code; and increase the strategic relevance of System z in their ever-evolving enterprise architectures.

Mainframe developers will also benefit from more automated business processes, flexible applications that adapt to changing business conditions and a more modern interface to the applications as well. Part of the IBM Rational software portfolio, the new IBM Rational Host Access Transformation Services (HATS) transforms green screen applications into Web services or rich user interfaces, allowing end-users to access a mainframe application from a mobile phone, PDA or other remote mobile interface. For example, an insurance adjuster can access claim details while on the road when, previously this data resided in a less flexible application.

“With a simplified mainframe development environment, clients can accelerate their Web and SOA application development,” said Dr. Danny Sabbah, general manager, Rational Software, IBM. “Using IBM Rational software, clients can reduce retraining costs and more quickly adopt modern architectures and technologies such as Web 2.0 -- regardless of their current skills.”

The new IBM Rational enterprise modernization software products include: IBM Rational Developer for System z, IBM Rational Transformation Workbench, IBM Enterprise COBOL for z/OS v4.1, IBM Enterprise PL/I for z/OS v3.7, and Software Configuration and Library Manager (SCLM) Advanced Edition for z/OS V1.2.

Building Mainframe Skills for the Global Community
Today there are more than 1,300 IBM business partners offering more than 4,000 applications for System z customers. IBM is making it easier than ever for business partners, software developers, students and customers to grow their skills and modernize applications running on mainframes through a variety of resources:

* System z for ISV -- this enhanced program provides business partners with a variety of training programs and technical and marketing resources to increase their return on investment (ROI). Technical resources include access to IBM’s global System z experts, System z seminars, the latest System z hardware technology through IBM’s Virtual Loaner Program and in- person consultations globally at IBM Innovation Centers. Increased marketing efforts, such as trade show and Web marketing support are also available. Throughout 2008, IBM will hold several seminars around the world to train business partners to build System z applications.

* destination Z -- a new worldwide community for business partners and software developers to network and build their skills on the latest System z application development technology. Through this new online community, users can discover the value of social networking to collaborate, generate news ideas and advance business opportunities for the System z platform.

* Academic Initiative for System z program -- IBM is helping more than 400 colleges and universities teach and develop mainframe courses and degrees.

* System z Sandbox -- new on IBM developerWorks Web site, customers can try new Rational software offerings for free before making a purchase decision. Included in the System z Sandbox are tutorials and architectural guidance critical to the success of software delivery projects.

* System z Starter Packs -- three new kits to help clients quickly get started in evolving their core IT systems. The System z Starter Packs include training, free 1-3 day workshops, a 90 day evaluation period and other perks to help clients cost-effectively and incrementally jump start their IT project.


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