IBM Corp says it has 200 staff deployed and is investing tens of millions of dollars in the configuration of a slew of packages combining RS/6000s with third party technology at Donna Van Fleet’s business solutions group, today’s Unigram.X reports. Ms Van Fleet’s group has apparently looked at as many as 60 different hardware and […]
IBM Corp says it has 200 staff deployed and is investing tens of millions of dollars in the configuration of a slew of packages combining RS/6000s with third party technology at Donna Van Fleet’s business solutions group, today’s Unigram.X reports. Ms Van Fleet’s group has apparently looked at as many as 60 different hardware and software packages, the first of which will be unveiled in the first quarter of next year. The bulk will be revealed in the second quarter along with the division’s higher- performing 604e-based Micro Channel servers due in April. Among the first will be new versions of the Internet-intranet bundles it already offers, plus packaged systems for decision support and visual computing. One piece of technology the RS/6000 is borrowing for the packages will be the AS/400 division’s PM/400 capacity planning and performance analysis software. The application automatically collects system data at a customer site, sends it back to AS/400 headquarters in Rochester, Minnesota where it’s analyzed and maintained and fed back to customers in the form of reports and graphs to help users plan configuration requirements. IBM is creating an AIX version, RM/6000, users of which will also to be hosted at the Rochester centre. At its April event IBM will also roll out its long- promised re-naming and re-branding of the RS/6000 lines. It will try and follow what it believes are IBM’s other brand recognition successes such as the Aptiva home computer line. Under new stewardship and with the Internet and new Network Computer divisions stealing some of its thunder, not to mention the still unresolved Power-PowerPC hiatus, the division has struggled to find its identity and marketing messages but now says it will focus strategies that emphasize growth, distribution, turnkey systems and image. There will be a single brand name for the RS/6000 workstations, the servers and the SP parallel machines. For its full year the division says its business will have grown by 20% over fiscal 1995 to an indicated $4bn. To the end of the second quarter it had grown by 30% over the same period in the previous year, but new product introductions across all three product lines in its third quarter impacted numbers leaving year- on-year growth flat. It deferred a bunch of SP orders to the fourth quarter to accommodate new node configurations and says that the current quarter will represent a return to strong growth. The RS/6000 division says workstations now account for some $1bn, or 25% of its business. On that reckoning it’s about twice the size of Dave Carlucci’s $2bn or so IBM Printing Systems Co, and still a chronic underachiever when you recall that Sun Microsystems Inc did over $7bn in the year to June 30.