IBM adds Ingram Micro and Tech Data as distributors, predicts fashion trends, and increases trade-in values for old hardware. Plus more. We're all over the map this week!
IBM Expanding Power Reach with Two New Distributors
Tech Data and Ingram Micro, according to a Partnerworld memo, have signed distribution deals with IBM.
Bill Donohue, the author of the memo and Vice President of IBM's North America Business Partner and Midmarket Sales, says the goal is "to expand [IBM's] enterprise business reach to both traditional IT solution providers and to global ISVs."
Donohue adds, "The addition of Ingram Micro and Tech Data to the portfolio of IBM's full-line Distributors is primarily for the purpose of distribution route expansion to reach new reseller and client segments, especially in the mid-market. With these expanded relationships, we are focused on reaching incremental resellers in the IBM ecosystem who are important to our clients such as:
- Independent Software Vendors (ISVs);
- Managed Service Providers (MSPs);
- Cloud Providers;
- Other resellers who do not currently have a IBM Power Systems or IBM System Storage resale relationship.
IBM needs broader market access to resellers and their clients, especially in the mid-size customer segment, which is the fastest growing segment in North America. IBM estimates that the North America Mid-Market represents $160B market opportunity and growing three percent annually. Ingram Micro and Tech Data have a broad set of resellers and MSPs that sell integrated IBM solutions, manage networks, run software applications and host services in this mid-size customer segment."
In Tech Data's press release, Chuck Bartlett, Vice President and General Manager for Tech Data Advanced Infrastructure Solutions (AIS), states the "relationship between Tech Data and IBM is an incredible opportunity for our solution providers to grow their compute and storage practices, while expanding their markets. Through this relationship, Tech Data now offers a full range of IBM services and solutions to our resellers. The addition of IBM's Power Systems and enterprise-class storage solutions to our AIS offering represents dynamic services and superior economics to help improve business efficiency, while enabling our resellers to meet the rapidly growing demands of big data for their end-user customers."
In the end, this could be very good for Power Systems business, which in turn would be very good for Power Systems customers. Ingram Micro and Tech Data can cast a wide net, offering these solutions to new customers through their existing reseller base. IBM aims to seek out new business, rather than have Ingram Micro and Tech Data battle for existing business with longtime distributors Avnet and Arrow. That's the key component here. Ingram Micro and Tech Data were already IBM System x distributors. In the past, if a customer opportunity leaned toward the Power Systems spectrum, neither company could pursue it. With this new agreement in place, both could facilitate exploring those opportunities through their resellers.
Also, the Partnerworld memo is strongly geared toward mid-market sized customers, which is IBM i's bread and butter.
By Any Means, I'm Not a Fashion Expert
You'll probably see me at a technical conference or a user group meeting wearing jeans, a Slayer T-shirt, and a sports coat. That being said, it looks as though IBM's investment in predictive analytics is attempting to forecast future fashion trends before they hit mainstream.
Ever hear of "steampunk?" No? Me either.
But IBM has, and the world will too, according to their press release. "Through analysis of more than a half million public posts on message boards, blogs, social media sites and news sources, IBM predicts that 'steampunk,' a sub-genre inspired by the clothing, technology and social mores of Victorian society, will be a major trend to bubble up, and take hold, of the retail industry. Major fashion labels, accessories providers and jewelry makers are expected to integrate a steampunk aesthetic into their designs in the coming year."
Based on social sentiment and analytics, IBM has been able to "track the spread of trends geographically, chronologically and now, culturally. From 2009 to 2012, the amount of steampunk chatter has increased eleven-fold. Since 2010, more than two dozen US department stores and specialty retailers have become steampunk savvy. During the next two years, IBM predicts that steampunk will shift from low production, high cost 'craft' manufacturing to mass production."
Imagine if you're a retail manufacturer. Wouldn't the ability to look at future trends based on predictive analytics be a little valuable to you? Absolutely. But this is just one example. Imagine if you could know a calculated potential future about areas that matter to your business. The future is where IBM is headed.
IBM Power Trade-in Program Doubles Offer
Nothing like a little incentive to grease the wheels of a migration. In announcement letter 313-003, with the exception of machine type 9117, all replacement machine maximum trade-in values have doubled from previous announcement letter 312-136 in December 2012.
This means that if you have one or more replaced machines, you can get a greater discount on the trade-in program to a replacement machine.
This program is not limited to getting older IBM hardware out of commission. If you have Dell, Sun, HP, SGI, or Fujitsu iron you'd like to replace with new IBM Power Systems, then you can do that too.
IBM is being very aggressive in helping to make transitions to newer systems more affordable—especially if you have a number of older machines (and with consolidation being an option).
IBM Builds Circuit 10,000 Times Thinner Than Paper
Two scientists at IBM's Thomas J. Watson Research Center have designed a circuit that they believe could lead to powerful electronic devices that were previously unable to be deployed in traditional methods. Imagine powerful computing capability embedded the fabric of your clothes or rolled up inside a pen.
According to the article, "The flexible nanoelectronic circuit Bedell and Shahrjedri designed is 10,000 times thinner than a piece of paper, and was peeled off of a silicon wafer and put onto plastic—an industry first. These circuits are also easily transferrable at any size, arbitrary in shape, and compatible with any flexible substrate. With a radius of curvature of only 6 mm, these sheets of circuits could cover or roll on top of almost anything.
"In certain applications such as space satellites and portable consumer electronics, weight of onboard devices is the key factor. Thin flexible circuits are so light that a large number of these circuits can be stacked to provide unprecedented computing power," said research scientist Stephen Bedell.
10 billion transistors powered by a miniscule 0.6 volts matched with the lightweight, thin, and flexible architecture opens up the doors to many practical applications and future innovations. These circuits also demonstrated the first instance of flexible memory.
IBM Connect Is One Week Away!
I'd like to invite anyone at IBM Connect to join me, Roxanne Reynolds-Lair (CIO of the Fashion Institute of Design and Merchandising), and Tim Rowe for "Business Agility and Efficiency with Consolidation." Our session will be Wednesday, January 30, at 1:30 p.m. in Swan SW 7-8. We hope to see you there.
The session abstract reads: "In today's flat world, successful businesses have their staff, customers and business partners connected. Critical collaboration technologies include: email, instant messaging, internet meetings, mobile access and social networking. This enables better and smarter decisions to be made quickly. Collaboration can mean IT environments are getting more complex forcing companies to spend time managing their environments and not their businesses. We'll review how business value can be achieved with the state-of-the-art collaboration solutions running on Power Systems while keeping a simplified, agile and efficient IT environment."