IBM Thursday introduced new discounted hardware and software bundles based on its PureSystems converged infrastructure platform and available on a channel-only basis.
IBM's new FlexPac bundles, which include blade servers, a chassis, network switches, and an optional management appliance, are aimed at helping IBM solution providers take advantage of a growing market for converged infrastructure offerings, said Jeff Schlageter, vice president of North American PureSystems sales at IBM.
"We're giving our partners really aggressive pricing and flexible configurations," Schlageter said. "These are not major systems. But they get the door open for partners."
Opening the door to new deals will indeed be FlexPac's primary benefit to partners, said Stan Wysocki, vice president of Mark III Systems, a Houston-based solution provider and IBM partner.
Mark III has sold several Flex Systems, which are the build-to-order version of the more integrated PureSystems line, Wysocki said.
While Mark III will continue to focus on Flex System for it usual sales activities, Wysocki said the FlexPacs with their aggressive pricing will be a great way for his company to grab business late in the sales cycle when timing is more tight and competition is more entrenched.
"For example, if an account is already doing a proof-of-concept with a Cisco UCS solution, and I want to flip that deal, the FlexPac is ideal," he said. "I can tell the customer what's included, how many virtual machines it supports, what the total capabilities are, and what the price is. There's no need to go out for special pricing."
Early in the sales cycle, Mark III can customize a Flex System solution and work with IBM on special pricing as needed, Wysocki said. "But later in the cycle, you want to hit it hard," he said.
The FlexPac comes in three flavors, Schlageter said.
The entry configuration includes a Flex System Chassis with one Flex System Manager appliance, two server nodes with dual Intel Xeon E5-2620 processors and 64 GBs of memory, two converged network switches, and a three-year on-site warranty.
The value configuration is similar except that it includes four nodes, each with two Intel Xeon E5-2640 processors and 128 GBs of memory, while the premium configuration has four nodes, each with two Intel Xeon E5-2680 processors and 256 GBs of memory.
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