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IBM is announcing integrated Smart Analytics Systems for x86 and mainframe environments, the pureScale Application System, and up to $500 million in financing to Sun partners to resell IBM systems.

Built to handle higher volumes of transactions and data analysis, the model 5600 (x) and 9600 (z) will join the 7600 (p), introduced last summer as an IBM-only offering, and feature integrated server, storage, software and services. Integrated Cognos and InfoSphere Warehouse software capabilities include reporting, analysis and dashboarding; ability to analyze multiple business variables to uncover unseen relationships; and ability to mine both structured data and unstructured information such as email, websites and blogs, to uncover hidden opportunities or provide customer behavioral analysis.

With these building blocks, partners can put together solutions in days, helping customers manage analytics and transactional workloads and extract data insight up to twenty times faster compared to competitive piece parts, states IBM. These systems can also reduce storage space by up to eighty percent with compression, which can translate into significant energy-related cost savings for clients.

These new smarter systems cost less, work better and are more reliable, says IBM’s Bernie Spang, Director for Product Strategy, Database Software and Systems. They offer rapid time to deployment, and rapid time to value, he adds. "The feedback from partners (is that they) love the fact that it’s pre-integrated, that it’s scalable and expandable."

The pureScale system combines POWER7-based servers with WebSphere Application Server and DB2 pureScale software to handle heavy transactional workloads. Unveiled last October, DB2 pureScale delivers ‘levels of database scalability and availability unmatched on Unix or x86 systems.’ Scaling is simply a matter of connecting a new node and issuing two simple commands. Applications written for other database software can be run with little or no changes.

Also new is up to $500 million from IBM Global Financing to help credit-qualified Sun partners looking for bluer pastures. As an added incentive, they will also make available the new profit optimizer tool free of charge to model potential market opportunities and evaluate the expected impact of their return on working capital, free cash flow and sales revenue.

Spang says hundreds of Sun partners have already joined the IBM team already, and more than 1,000 customers have moved from Sun to IBM Power systems over the last four years. Uncertainties about Sun under Oracle, and customers moving have created an opportunity that IBM is seeking to exploit, he says. Several dozen partners have come aboard over the last six months, and IBM wanted to "sweeten the pot" with financing. Spang says it’s part of an ongoing strategy to strengthen and expand the IBM partner ecosystem in this area.

He adds that both customers and partners are expressing confidence in IBM’s experience and reliability over the long term, another factor in IBM’s favor.

The IBM Smart Analytics System 5600 is available immediately, while the 9600 and the pureScale Application System will be available later this quarter.  Spang says financing, webinars and training workshops for partners will help drive these solutions. Key markets include utilities, health care and the financial sector.

"The need for smarter analysis affects all industries, and pretty much all companies at all sizes."