IBM the world leader in Power Technology displayed their commitment to POWER servers’ this week, in a road show held in both Riyadh and Jeddah. IBM event in association with SBM, the General Marketing and Services Representative of IBM in Saudi Arabia, was attended by SBM and IBM business partners and IT customers, and focused on System i’s updates with regards to simplify IT "instant infrastructure", a system so simple users might forget that there is a system there.
Lead speaker at the road show, Kevin Patterson, IBM’s Director, Worldwide Sales - System i illustrated, “System i a server, storage, software, and security in one, is designed specifically to integrate components for superior functionality and to support running the applications important to today's businesses.”
Below are highlights of the interview for your publication.
Kevin PattersonDirector, worldwide sales System i
Q: Where is IBM today from the Server Road Map?
The server Road map as a whole is very exciting. If you look at our middle services, meaning System p & System i, we have a powerful and very strong philosophy with a promising future. On the other hand, System z, is very strong on the higher end and what we are doing with Blade technology and System x is industry leading.
The server market as a whole is very bright for IBM.
Q: How committed is IBM to power technology and System i?
Last year we announced the IBM Systems Agenda focusing on virtualization, openness and innovation. I view the whole IBM Systems Agenda as a validation of what we have been doing with System i for years. It just brings more of IBM’s commitment to System i. It could not be better.
Q: Can you give us a brief description of System i and its benefits?
The beauty of System i is that it targets small, medium and large businesses. We have customers that have 10 users and others that have 10000, all around the world. But I think the core value of System i is its integration, and what I mean by that is its ability to have multiple things running on the same system, all managed by the System i itself. The company does not spend time worrying about the technology involved, and can concentrate on how to improve the business, and for the IT industry, this is essential.
System i, because of its integration, ease of use and systems management capabilities, allows you to do that.
Q: In terms of Total cost of ownership (TCO), what are the costs involved for the non-System i user to make the change? Taking into consideration many industries especially small and medium businesses are price sensitive or cost driven.
Cost factor is very important and I look to it in two folds: Cost of entry and total cost of ownership.
When you look at the cost of entry on a low end, we have developed many products at a very low end and will be developing some things in the future that will be very innovative from a System i perspective. That will bring the cost of entry to a very low end, very reasonable, but that’s really is not the strength. It’s important but it is not the strength. Why? Because if you’re going to be in business for more than a year or two, you need to worry about total cost of ownership not just the cost that you spent at entry, especially if you are going to pay that over and over again, you are spending too much money.
The total cost of ownership covers hardware, software, application software, system management maintaining your whole system. So I think total cost of ownership is really the key and when you put all these together, System i is the leader in the industry.
Q: With regards to the Saudi market, what are your expectations?How can the Saudi market benefit from System i in the light of the advancement in Technology today? How ready is the Saudi market place for the introduction of System i?
Every indication I have had so far by talking to customers to my friends in SBM is that KSA is a growing market and when you have a growing market, System i is the perfect place for it. The reason being you have many businesses looking to grow their business and not spend a whole lot of time on technology and when you have that, System i is the best platform for it, so I think the future here in Saudi is great for System i. In fact, one of our largest System i customers worldwide is actually here in KSA.
Q: How does the Saudi market in terms of technology and size compare to other markets in the Middle east and worldwide? And
If you compare the Saudi market to other places in the Middle East, this is the largest market and it looks, as it is a growth area. I still view System i as growing worldwide as well, and it would not surprise me if the Saudi market out-paces what we do in the world.
What industries are you targeting in KSA?
We are targeting all the industries. We have solutions across all industries, from finance to distribution, retail, telecom and government. System i is not meant to be just for one industry. We have set System i to be crossing borders.
Q: What is the main message you would like to send out to the Saudimarket?
When you look at the growth in a country, look at the technology requirements that will help that growth. So if you take the System i as a technology that will help that growth, putting all these three elements together: technology, country growth, and taking what I believe to be the best server to support that growth, you get the perfect image.
- End –- About SBM
Based in Jeddah, and with branches in Riyadh, Al-Khobar and Jubail, with over 600 employees and 60 years of experience in the Kingdom, Saudi Business Machines Limited (SBM), has played a leading role in the development of information technology in the Kingdom. SBM continues to power both the private and public sectors in the Kingdom with innovative products, integrated services and e-business solutions. Partnering with the world's technology leader, IBM, further extends SBM's status, positioning it as the most comprehensive information technology solutions provider in the region.