IBM Offers Network Services Credit

Earlier this month, IBM announced a promotional offer promising credits of up to $100,000 toward standard charges for new U.S. customers of IBM's network services who either install or upgrade selected models of the AS/400 or RS/6000, or who obtain TCP/IP Smoothstart software services from IBM Global Services.

Credits are available to customers whose midrange installations occur between July 1, 1998 and December 31, 1998. The Global Services offering letter must be signed on or after July 1, 1998, but no later than March 31, 1999. In the context of the promotion, network services includes most IBM Managed Data Network Services frame relay-based connections, internetworking and multiprotocol solutions; SNA, IP and multiprotocol remote access offerings, as well as most features provided by the IBM Internet Connection corporate dial and direct services.

Managed Data Network Services are designed to offer a range of wide area data network solutions that link local or remote users, customers and trading partners while reducing investments in network personnel and equipment.

In general, Smoothstart service for the AS/400 provides an on-site services specialist to manage and install a new AS/400 system, as well as tailor IBM hardware and system software.

Through its TCP/IP Smoothstart service, IBM Global Services installs TCP/IP on a customer's AS/400 and configures the parameters for access to the Internet, as well as a corporate intranet or extranet. In addition to the installation component of Smoothstart, the program also consists of planning, recommended system configuration, an installation record that documents TCP/IP parameters, PTF levels and configuration activities performed during installation, and basic skills instruction. Prerequisites to receiving TCP/IP Smoothstart service include V3R1, V3R6 or later, as well as the appropriate TCP/IP utilities, communications hardware and defined IP addresses.

IBM's ultimate goal is to familiarize new customers to the its network services, explains Bruce Jackson, VP of managed data network services and network technology with IBM's Global Services. IBM's expansive Global Network - which provides leased line and direct-access service from 900 cities and 100 countries - acts as the medium for network services.

The promotional offer is applicable to AS/400 models 170, 600-650 and S10-S40. RS/6000 models include the 397, J50, 595, R50, 570, E30, F40, F50, H50, 140 and 240.

The total network services credit customers are eligible to receive is determined by the qualifying installation through the end of this year, with each installation generating a number of points. Credit points from multiple server acquisitions and TCP/IP-Smoothstart are additive in order to qualify for a higher total credit. For example, obtaining TCP/IP Smoothstart services earns a customer 5,000 points while installation of an AS/400, Model 600, feature 2135 earns 15,000 points, for a total of 20,000 points.

Based upon the promotional offering, a customer would then be eligible for a credit of $15,000. Credit will only be issued in increments of $5,000, $10,000, $15,000, $25,000, $50,000, $75,000 or $100,000.