IBM is racking up System z wins in Korea. Late in 2009 IBM won BC Card, the leading Korean card payment company, to the System z and taking the business away from HP. Check out my case study on BC Card here. Just recently IBM closed another new System z deal. Dongbu Insurance, described as Korea’s second largest non-life insurer, is the latest System z newbie. Here’s the IBM announcement.
This is welcome news for System z fans since IBM’s 1Q report didn’t tell a pretty System z story. Overall, it wasn’t bad: revenue up 5%, net income up 13%, and the Systems and Technology group, where the System z lives, up 5%. Unfortunately, revenues from the System z and POWER Systems decreased 17% while MIPS delivery dropped 19%. Ouch. Market Watch posted the IBM numbers here.
Should we rationalize this? The expected arrival of a new System z, referred to as the hybrid z or z11, later this year, was sure to freeze new System z orders. This blog covered the new z in February. Unless an organization desperately needs a new z right now, it can wait to see what the new z will look like. My guess—and I am definitely not a financial analyst—the numbers will begin moving positive with the arrival of the new machine and as the economy begins to improve.
As interest in the newly introduced POWER Systems and POWER7 builds, their numbers should improve too. They’re impressive machines, but they didn’t even begin shipping until late in the first quarter. This blog covered their introduction here too.
2009 wasn’t the unmitigated disaster for the System z as some have suggested. IBM reports 40 new System z wins for the year, both z/OS and Linux on z users. Of course, there were some losses too; I know at least one I had written about extensively. This year seems to be off to a promising start with IBM reporting nine new System z wins in 1Q.
And that was before the Dongbu win. Dongbu represents a big deal involving a seven-year Open Infrastructure Offering (OIO) contract valued at US $60 million and aimed at building Dongbu an integrated IT infrastructure based on IBM technology. Included are four IBM System z10 EC and BC machines to serve as the backbone of the system. It will run z/OS and Linux on z as well as IBM DB2 and WebSphere Application Server.
Dongbu’s objective is to simplify its previous complicated environment consisting of diverse systems from multiple vendors and different operating environments. With so many disparate systems and disjoint processes, the company apparently had difficulty recognizing its customers across different business units and channels. The new System z deal will enable Dongbu to consolidate much of the mess into its new z-based IT infrastructure, which will be able to run multiple, heterogeneous workloads simultaneously and deliver a single view of the customer—the Holy Grail for large companies everywhere.