IBM Exec: PureSystems Sales Off To 'Solid Start'

IBM sold more than 2,300 PureSystems in 2012 following its April debut, said Rod Adkins, senior vice president of IBM's Systems and Technology Group, speaking at the company's PartnerWorld Leadership Conference in Las Vegas.

Adkins' statement is the first time IBM has given any sales numbers for the PureSystems product line.

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"I think we're off to a solid start," Adkins said during a keynote speech Wednesday. In an exclusive interview with CRN after his speech, Adkins said PureSystems sales appeared to gain momentum in the fourth calendar quarter.

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"I think that's trending and the direction we're looking for," he said. "I like the track that it's on and we're well-positioned to leverage the momentum we created coming out of the fourth quarter into 2013."

Adkins said there are 2,555 IBM Systems and Technology Group partners selling PureSystems. The 2,300 systems were sold in 70 countries, he added.

IBM launched PureSystems to compete with converged infrastructure systems from Hewlett-Packard, Oracle and VCE, the latter a joint venture created by Cisco, EMC and VMware. The IBM PureSystems line includes the PureFlex System for Infrastructure-as-a-Service deployments, PureApplication System for Platform-as-a-Service tasks, and PureData System for big data applications.

Several channel partners had told CRN last week that PureSystems sales had gotten off to a slow start. Because it is a new category of product, Adkins said IBM "knew there would be a time factor associated with [gaining] market traction and momentum."

During a panel discussion of the managed service provider market on Tuesday, Andrew Monshaw, general manager of IBM PureFlex, said that most PureSystems sales so far have been to large companies and managed service providers.

Adkins also said about one-half of the PureSystems sales were to new customers and were not bought by customers simply to replace other IBM servers.

Earlier this month IBM debuted an entry-level PureApplication System for Web and database applications, and improved the performance of the PureData System. Adkins said IBM is assembling specific editions of the PureSystems line for MSPs, and developing new management and deployment capabilities for the IBM Flex System architecture that the PureSystems line is based on.