IBM Looks to Attract New ERP Customers

IBM has been touting the AS/400 as a strong ERP platform for a number of years. Now, IBM is putting its reputation on the line with the announcement of a Performance Protection Plan. Any customers who purchase an AS/400 and install ERP solutions from Intentia International AB (Rosemont, Ill.), J.D. Edwards (Denver), SAP (Chesterbrook, Pa.) or System Software Associates (Chicago) on the server, can take advantage of a two-year program guaranteeing the server will perform at a predetermined level.

"We know how reliable the AS/400 is for the ERP market," says Greg Talvalsky, worldwide AS/400 industry and ERP manager. "This is our way of showing our confidence in the AS/400 and giving customers assurance that the AS/400 will operate at a strong level."

If the AS/400 does not support the anticipated business workload during the first 24 months, IBM will upgrade the server's memory, DASD or processor (or all three) at no charge.

The Performance Protection Plan is available through IBM Business Partners and is part of IBM Enterprise Resource Planning Solution Series. IBM and its business partners assist customers in the selection process, helping them to match a specific AS/400 model to meet their ERP needs based on anticipated workload projections.

IBM's Performance Protection Plan comes at a time when the ERP market is still in a state of flux. While admitting the plan is one way of trying to resuscitate the ERP market, Talvalsky says it also is an indication that IBM does not expect the down times to continue. "From an IBM perspective, we're confident that the ERP market will take off," he says.

-- J. Martin