IBM has completed its $1 billion acquisition of the Informix database business, and is now in the process of convincing Informix business partners to jump on board the Big Blue bandwagon.
In the Asia-Pacific region, the vendor claims it has gained around 400 new database developers and technical salespeople, and Steve McWhirter, general manager of IBM Software Group Australia said around 60-70 Informix staff have been pulled across to Big Blue's Australian office. Informix will now rename its company Ascential Software.
IBM officials claim its database business has doubled in size. The vendor is now offering Informix's channel partners the opportunity to be fast-tracked through its accreditation process and become IBM business partners.
There are around 20 key business partners IBM is targeting. At present, Express Data and Alstom IT distribute IBM's software products to smaller resellers, while IBM sells to larger tier one business partners directly. McWhirter said the software group is making a concerted effort to increase channel involvement to boost software sales. For the first quarter of this year, he claims IBM's software group involved its channel partners in over 70 per cent of its sales.
"This acquisition doubles our distribution of database products," said Peter Graham, regional manager for DB2 at IBM Australia/NZ. "It gives us access to new partners, partners that have the opportunity to grow their business." Graham said business partners coming onboard gain access to "products that are priced to win in the marketplace," and that can be easily integrated with other IBM software products such as WebSphere.
McWhirter is currently negotiating the process of accrediting new business partners. He said training will be offered to new business partners on a "you pass, we pay" basis (i.e. if the business partner's staff pass the accreditation process, IBM covers the cost of the training). "It's a win-win situation for the IBM software group and our business partners," he said.
McWhirter also said IBM will be supporting the Informix product "into the foreseeable future."
"The last thing we would do is force customers to migrate to DB2," he said. "We will make sure they still get a good return on their investment. We have a track record of being good to our customers - we were very successful in integrating the Lotus and Tivoli businesses."