"IBM faces a missionary sales effort to recruit value-added
resellers (VARs) to Linux, despite offering Domino, WebSphere, and
DB2 at drastically reduced pricing. ... On 6 November 2000, IBM
announced the availability of IBM Small Business Suite for Linux.
The suite targets businesses that have fewer than 100 employees
with messaging, collaboration, productivity, Web design, and data
"With value-added resellers doing strong business with Microsoft
middleware--at the expense of missed IBM software revenue--IBM's
announcement is a move to capture an increased share of software
revenue by opening untapped markets in smaller enterprises. IBM
dropped its price from $3,600 (for DB2, Lotus Domino, and
WebSphere) to $499 (for licensing up to 100 users) for equivalent
"IBM anticipates a large new Linux VAR community developing as a
Microsoft alternative and believes that price sensitivity will
drive high volumes of business to Linux. With its Linux strategy,
IBM hopes to capitalize on increased software revenue opportunities
while letting VARs provide service and support."
"Gartner believes IBM will need until about the fourth
quarter of 2001 to recruit, train, and support a minimum of several
hundred VARs on Linux. IBM's success will depend on generating
marketing programs to attract independent software vendors (ISVs)
to port applications to Linux."
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