IBM Bringing New Channel Emphasis To Data Services

IBM Thursday unveiled new services to help businesses more easily manage information and boost database and storage infrastructure performance. And, the channel is a key part of the company's go-to-market strategy.

The new services are from by IBM Global Technology Services, one of two organizations under IBM Global Services.

Global Technology Services consists of 10 separate units focusing on different aspects of the data center.

One of those, the IBM Storage and Data Services unit, unveiled a services offering related to information lifecycle management (ILM), including helping customers adopt storage optimization, virtualization, and archiving based on regulations and policies, said Paul Fried, vice president of storage and data services.

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The unit also unveiled storage implementation services for a range of products, including disk, tape, NAS, and SAN. The implementation service is aimed at speeding up deployment time and cutting the risk of adopting new technologies, Fried said.

Also new are data migration services to help customers migrate between storage infrastructures in a consistent, standard manner, Fried said.

"There are several tools in the marketplace to do data migration depending on how you do it and what vendors you work with," he said. "We are bringing out tools based on client needs, not on any particular products or packaging."

Another part of Global Technology Services, the IBM Middleware Services unit, unveiled new services to help customers deal with data management, including the assessment, planning, design, and implementation of database components. That unit also brought out services for data warehouse assessment, planning, design, implementation, upgrades, and migration.

Fried said success of the services, which are based on best practices that IBM Global Services have learned in customer implementation from around the world, will depend on the vendors solution provider channels to take the lead.

"When we have a large percentage of our storage business go through the channel, how can we not expect to want to follow through with services?" he asked. "We need to learn how to work with partners on services."

IBM Global Services is already learning, said Pete Elliot, director of marketing at Key Information Systems, a Woodland Hills, Calif.-based IBM solution provider.

Key partners with IGS on e-mail archiving, and is looking at doing the same for other infrastructure services, Elliot said.

"Like everything else, IGS has had a challenging past with the business partner community," he said. "But the trend has been for them to reinvent themselves with new offerings, especially entry-level offerings. That's good for IBM because we can handle such services locally, and good for the customer who can get access to low-cost services."