IBM, ShowCase Ink Sales, Licensing Partnership

IBM and ShowCase Corp. (Rochester, Minn.) have signed a reselling and technology licensing partnership which will expand IBM's business intelligence solutions to the AS/400 platform and expand ShowCase's reach in the AS/400 market.

The agreement calls for IBM to offer customers ShowCase's Strategy data warehousing solution as part of its core business intelligence offering. ShowCase will have access to global markets serviced by more than 1,000 IBM software sales representatives.

Ken Holec, president and CEO of ShowCase Corp., says the untapped market for AS/400 business intelligence solutions is about $1 billion, a market that ShowCase can't access by itself.

"We're only getting to a small portion of that market. We have 60 AS/400 [sales] specialists worldwide. Now we'll have 700 IBM salespeople in data management, 250 in global business intelligence. And they've been assigned an AS/400 quota. They're being paid to sell software into AS/400 accounts."

ShowCase will also work with IBM to develop the long-awaited AS/400 version of the DB2 OLAP Server, which, along with other Strategy products, will become IBM-branded business intelligence solutions marketed worldwide. The DB2 OLAP Server leverages the Hyperion [formerly Arbor] Essbase OLAP engine, which ShowCase holds exclusive rights to on the AS/400 platform.

"This gives us an OLAP strategy that's consistent with our other platforms," says Brant Davison, product manager, business intelligence at IBM Software Solutions. "We're delivering OLAP capabilities in an offering that's highly tuned for and integrated with the AS/400. It also allows us to deliver the solution to market relatively quickly rather than trying to develop something ourselves. This way, we'll be able to meet customers' needs immediately."

--D. Callaghan