IBM Bolsters DB2 Sales and Marketing

Heard about DB2 lately? You will this year.

Janet Perna, general manager of data management solutions at IBM Corp. (, is plowing more money into sales and marketing for IBM’s cross-platform RDBMS. Perna promises a 35 percent investment increase for promoting and selling the database in 2000. The IBM data management group will add 200 people to its sales team, as well.

Granted, IBM will add 300 data management developers to work on portals, content management, and an upgrade to DB2, but the additions will bring each side of IBM’s data management business up to about 2,000 employees. When Perna started at the end of 1996, there were about 1,500 developers and a sales and marketing team of about 350 people.

"Most of our investment over the last three years has been in building that sales channel. We have great technology," Perna asserts. "No one knew about it, and we didn’t have a sales channel to get it to market."

From 1998 to 1999, channel revenue for DB2 on Unix and Windows NT jumped from 26 percent to 41 percent of total revenue.

On Windows NT in particular, IBM experienced 50 percent revenue growth in 1999, Perna says. "We will definitely pick up share for both Unix and NT," Perna predicts. "I don’t know how much yet, because it depends on how the others do."

DB2 enjoyed 100 percent revenue growth from 1997 to 1998 on Windows NT and picked up 2.5 points of market share to reach almost 10 percent, according to the market research firm Dataquest (

Oracle Corp. (, the market-share leader in Unix- and Windows NT-based database revenue, bounced from 40.7 percent to 46.1 percent of the Windows NT market. Microsoft Corp. dropped from 37.8 percent to 29.7 percent.

Microsoft is the wildcard this year. It’s 1998 revenue was based on sales of SQL Server 6.5, but SQL Server 7.0 arrived in early 1999. It will have an impact on the year's totals.

Perna credits standardization and e-business for much of DB2’s gains on Windows NT in 1999.

"A lot of the NT that we’re selling is into enterprises that are standardizing on DB2 across the platform," Perna says. Another key driver is sales to e-commerce sites running DB2 with IBM’s Net.commerce.

Dataquest and International Data Corp. (IDC, are expected to release preliminary estimates on database market performance late in the first quarter.