IBM turns to channel to fuel file systems sales

Looking to boost its enterprise file systems software sales, IBM is turning to its channel partners.

IBM at its Decorum '99 conference here yesterday announced the addition of its Andrew File System (AFS) software to the roster of components available to its business partners creating I-commerce applications, and has created a program under which existing resellers of IBM computer-aided, three-dimensional, interactive application (CATIA) manufacturing software will be authorised to resell IBM's Distributed File System (DFS) software.

The moves are expected to drive sales of the file systems software to small and medium-size organisations and to extend the company's international reach through local business partners, according to Gail Koerner, manager of IBM's file systems product management group.

AFS and DFS are IBM's multi platform file sharing, data access, security, and management offerings. DFS includes the Open Group Distributed Computing Environment (DCE) architecture.

Separately, officials here announced plans to bring the Transarc subsidiary within IBM as a business unit. While the companies have already merged sales and pre-sales technical support operations, the remaining Transarc groups are slated to be absorbed by IBM in July. IBM acquired Transarc in 1994.

As part of the change in status, Transarc will become the IBM Transarc Lab, still based in Pittsburgh. The lab will become a part of the IBM Application and Integration Management division (AIM), which is headed by general manager John Swainson. The AIM division, in turn, is part of the IBM Software Solutions division, led by Steve Mills.

The shift leaves Transarc with a charter emphasising research and development, along with continued brand management of file systems products and development of transaction processing software, according to Transarc president and CEO Lorene Steffes, who will become vice president of AIM services and the IBM Transarc Lab.

The move began in January with the administrative transfer of about 75 Transarc sales representatives and pre-sales support engineers to IBM. The remaining 450 employees will be regrouped in July, according to Steffes, who said no staff cuts are expected as a result of the transition.

Decorum '99 drew roughly 800 attendees, according to company officials.