February 26, 2001

IBM business partners seize exploding Linux market opportunity

Author: JT Smith

IBM PartnerWorld Provides New Linux Initiatives to Help Partners Expand into New Markets, Attain New Skills and Grow Business. ATLANTA, G.A., February 26, 2001 . . . IBM today announced a series of new Linux* initiatives within the IBM PartnerWorld** program in response to the growing demand for Linux-based solutions.

The new Linux-specific initiatives include education, certification, co-marketing, incentives and technical support. With a new Linux Lens quicklink on the IBM PartnerWorld Web site (http://www.ibm.com/partnerworld/linux), Business Partners will now find a single location linking to all IBM resources for Linux.

"IBM offers a powerful combination of Linux-based hardware and software backed by technical, sales and marketing support that gives my company a competitive range of offerings," said Bob Covington, CTO, MerchantWired, a leading business and technology solutions provider for the retail industry . "With enhanced support from IBM, we can continue to rapidly grow our expertise on Linux while utilizing our existing skill set to increase the market opportunity at very little cost. The bottom line is we can grow our business more rapidly with IBM."

According to IDC, Linux shipments grew faster than any other server operating system over the past two years. Business Partners are embracing IBM's broad portfolio of Linux-based hardware, software and business partner services, including access to more than 1700 ISV applications in the Global Solutions Directory. Receiving more than 1.6 million hits per month, the Global Solutions Directory is a repository where Business Partners and customers view ISV solutions for various industry segments, including finance, retail, insurance and education.

"Linux provides game changing opportunities for IBM Business Partners," said Patricia Meacham, vice president, marketing, IBM PartnerWorld. "From middleware to the mainframe, IBM has the most complete Linux-enabled e-business portfolio, including services and support to help Business Partners build on their existing expertise to meet the growing demand for Linux-based solutions."

As part of IBM's commitment to Linux, IBM is launching a new Ready, Set, Linux! initiative to recruit, enable and support Business Partners. The three-phased approach includes Ready: education on market opportunity and how to get started with IBM; Set: a two-day, hands-on technical training on Linux and IBM e-business solutions; and Linux: an ongoing enablement and support initiative featuring educational roadmaps leading to certification and access to key PartnerWorld benefits for partners delivering e-business solutions for Linux.

In addition to providing core PartnerWorld support, such as Business Partner Connections and the Global Solutions Directory, IBM will be expanding "You Pass, We Pay" certification reimbursement, to provide reimbursement for Linux certifications. All IBM Business Partners that have eligible IBM certifications can be reimbursed for tuition and test expenses up to $3000 once they pass Linux Professional Institute (LPI) Test 101 or achieve Red Hat Linux certification. Business Partners eligible for PartnerRewards may claim up to $3000 for business development funds accrued for approved education and certification activities that lead to LPI or Red Hat Linux certification.

About IBM
IBM (http://www.ibm.com/) is the world's largest information technology company, with 80 years of leadership in helping businesses innovate. IBM creates, develops and manufactures the industry's most advanced information technologies, including computer systems, software, networking systems, storage devices and microelectronics. IBM PartnerWorld is a marketing and enablement program designed to create new revenue and marketing opportunities for IBM Business Partners, and provide customers with e-business solutions including products, services, technologies and marketing.

International Business Machines Corporation
New Orchard Road
Armonk, NY 10504

Contact: Tim O'Malley
(914) 642-3223

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*Indicates trademark or registered trademark of Linus Torvalds.
**Indicates trademark or registered trademark of International Business Machines Corporation.
All other trademarks are the properties of their respective companies.

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