In the Wheelhouse: Solutions with Hardware Rebates Available

Analysis of News Events
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This week, we'll cover updated Power Systems rebates, news about COMMON Europe, COMMON Americas, and the push for more PowerLinux in China.


IBM Updates Power Systems Rebate Offerings

As per announcement letters 313-040 and 313-041, IBM has added POWER7+ hardware to the list of qualifying and eligible products in their software solutions' first-in-location or competitive migration rebate programs. You can receive a rebate equal to the total invoice price of the eligible new ISV software licenses acquired, up to a maximum rebate that is dependent upon the eligible new server minimum configurations outlined in the announcement letters. For example, if you purchase an ISV solution that costs $10,000, that's what you're entitled to as a rebate if the eligible hardware rebate value is greater than or equal to $10,000.

As per the announcements, the details on each offering are as follows:

Software Solutions for IBM Power Systems First-in-Location Rebate Offer

  • One or more selected eligible new IBM Power Systems server minimum configurations; and
  • One or more eligible new Independent Software Vendor (ISV) software applications from the same ISV

In order to qualify as first-in-location, no other software licenses sold by the ISV may have been installed, at any time, in your customer location (single building with a single mailing address).

Software Solutions for IBM Power Systems Competitive Migration Rebate

  • One or more selected eligible new IBM Power Systems minimum configurations; and
  • Migrate a qualifying existing ISV software application from a non-IBM platform to the eligible new IBM Power Systems minimum configuration(s); and
  • Acquire qualifying new ISV software application(s) and/or IBM-, Business Partner- or ISV-provided migration services

These announcements help sweeten the pot if you're looking to upgrade off of some older iron running i5/OS V5R4, which will receive a more-expensive support extension as of September 2013.

The migration rebate is designed for moving solutions off non-IBM platforms. If you've got solutions running on a few Dell or HP servers and want to consolidate to Power Systems, you can take advantage with this promotion. Essentially, IBM will comp you the software by way of a rebate if you're buying enough new Power hardware. FYI, "new" in IBM-speak means a new serial number so an upgraded box with the same serial number and a new ISV solution won't cut it.

European Power Summit Cancelled

I'm sad to report that COMMON Europe's 2013 conference has been cancelled. The website has the following statement:

"After several months of planning, organisation and extensive marketing campaigns, we have been forced to take this decision because of several reasons:

  • Due to the continuing unstable economic conditions across Europe, the registration of delegates has been very low to date.
  • To stage a Central European event of this magnitude requires the financial and technical support of our valued business partners. You are probably aware, IBM has traditionally been our major sponsor, as our events are aimed primarily at users of the POWER platform. However in 2013 there has been a change of IBM policy towards European umbrella user groups and this support has been vastly reduced.
  • At short notice, the availability of several key speakers from the U.S. has been withdrawn. This would have forced us to dramatically change the structure and the quality of an agenda which has taken many months to compile. In the short time remaining, we feel this simply would not be feasible."

I spoke with Thomas Schweizer, Acting President of COMMON Europe, who says that they must "change the way of organizing a pan-European event in the future, as money from IBM has to be requested in the country where the conference would take place and from the local COMMON organisation."

Schweizer also tells me that there will be a Board of Directors meeting in June to discuss future direction and the potential of a conference in 2014.

It appears European customers will be leaning on local IBM i and Power Systems user groups for the time being, further emphasizing their importance. So show some love to your LUGs. You never know when you're going to need them the most.

COMMON Americas Fall Conference Update

Speaking of COMMON, and on a much lighter note, I had a chance to talk with COMMON Americas President Randy Dufault about the upcoming conference in St. Louis, Missouri. I've heard the unofficial number for the spring conference in Austin was around 1,000 attendees and hopefully the fall conference will attract a solid crowd.

Dufault says, "I am very excited about the upcoming COMMON Fall Conference in St. Louis. We have seen the fall event grow each of the three years since COMMON launched this particular format, and we are expecting another great turnout from both our member attendees and from the vendor community. This is the first time COMMON has offered a conference event in St. Louis and I, for one, am looking forward to visiting the city."

The thing I like about the COMMON Americas fall conference is that it's concentrated, like a wine reduction. All the aspects are enhanced. You get some really focused education in a shorter amount of time with world-class speakers.

Dufault continues, "I think the Fall Conference has definitely found a niche and is meeting a need our members may not be able to satisfy with COMMON's other offerings. Current and pertinent topics are covered by the best presenters in the world, and the learning one gets from the vendors in the Expo is second to none. Of course, the conference is a bit shorter, so time out of the office is kept to a manageable level. There's a great discount rate available right now, so I would encourage everyone to register and take advantage of the price. As always, I am very much looking forward to meeting up with, and learning from, fellow users at the conference. After all, that is a big part of what makes a user group so much more than just a group of users."

The fall conference is September 9 - 11. If you register by July 11 with the promotional code "DECO" you'll save yourself $350.

New Innovation Center to Grow Linux on Power Business

Last week IBM announced a new Linux innovation center in Beijing, China, aimed to enable customers to develop and run Linux applications on Power Systems.

With that announcement, IBM also began "a new collaboration with Red Hat and SUSE to meet increasing demand from businesses in China for optimized and pre-integrated computing systems running enterprise applications on Linux. The companies will use the new center to help drive more Linux-based solutions in the marketplace and accelerate Linux adoption on Power Systems. The center is open to clients, business partners, academics, and students across the nation. Skills resources include:

  • Linux training workshops that show developers how to program, port and optimize their applications using Red Hat Enterprise Linux and SUSE Linux Enterprise Server technologies on Power Systems.
  • Hands-on assistance from 30 dedicated Linux and IBM systems experts to show developers how to take advantage of IBM's unique POWER7+ parallel processing and advanced virtualization capabilities.
  • Access to IBM's business consulting experts and business partner co-marketing resources to develop joint go to market strategies for Power System and Linux based solutions."

Given that IBM reported a 31% decline in Power Systems revenue in the 1st quarter of 2013, this is a good shot in the arm for growing the Power Systems business. Fittingly, the announcement states that in China, "Linux growth outpaces the worldwide average where, in a growing server market, Linux server market share has grown from 9.2% to 33.2% over the past 10 years." This is the time and place to be pushing the eight new POWER+ servers announced back in February.

Also, you know things are up when IBM CEO Ginny Rometty recently appointed Tom Rosamilia as head of IBM Systems and Technology Group (STG). Although IBM doesn't comment on personnel matters, you can read between the lines and speculate that this change is to seriously shake things up. And the better IBM does with pushing Power Systems boxes around the globe, the better off customers are, no matter whether we run Linux or not.