IBM Beats Compaq, Dell in Kodak PC Deal

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IBM has won a deal with Kodak to replace 40,000 desktop and notebook computers throughout company locations in nearly 50 countries, which IBM is estimating will save Kodak approximately 40 percent of its total support cost.

IBM beat out Compaq and Dell to provide Kodak with hardware and new software management and order fulfillment technologies said to save the company $5 million during the first phase of the project, according to Rich Cheston, director of manageability for IBM personal systems group.

"It's a key win for us," says Cheston. "We won a lot of new accounts like this last year, but it's very hard to get Kodak to allow you to make an announcement like this."

None of IBM's business partners were involved in the deal, according to an IBM spokesperson, and the value of the deal was not disclosed.

The project began last year and is projected to continue in various roll-out stages over the next three years, says Cheston.

"IT organizations are under immense pressure to reduce support costs," he says. "Everybody knows PCs have come down in price, but we're talking thousands of dollar per PC in support costs."

Cheston says Kodak selected IBM because of its tools that will impact Kodak's business by reducing PC support costs with IBM's ImageUltra data migration technologies.

"I don't want them to say, 'We chose IBM because they smiled every time they saw us,'" says Cheston. "I want them to be able to say, 'IBM came in and reduced my support cost by 40 percent.'"

Cheston adds that the visibility of this large customer project can only help IBM win additional large customers.

"To point to Kodak and say that we won that [deal is significant," he says. "It builds credibility with other customers who want to do the same."

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