Viswanath Ramaswamy, Country Manager for Power Systems, Systems and Technology Group at IBM India/ South Asia, talks about the company's unique strategy for SMB market in India.
CW: How has IBM Power Systems' roadmap been so far?
Earlier in 2008, IBM had assimilated two lines of workstations and servers with identical hardware and a choice of operating systems, software, and service contracts under the Power Systems portfolio. In February 2010, IBM announced new models with the Power7 microprocessor, and in October 2012, we announced the Power7+.
CW: You seem to be specifically targeting SMBs with this portfolio. How do you plan to take your solutions to this particular market?
We work closely with independent software vendors (ISV) to achieve that. We need to keep in mind that clients have to decide what applications will be used, even before the hardware is decided. That becomes the first decision point. The hardware is finalized later. Therefore, it is very important that we work closely with ISVs, along with bigwigs like SAP and Infor. We have taken the initiative of jointly going to the market. We have an entire ecosystem of ISVs whom we encourage to go out and work with SMB clients. We ask ISVs to quote on Power because we give a lot of sops to them, and in addition, we stand to gain a lot of advantages such as easier deployment and increased accountability. Besides this, we also take the route of our business partners because their reach to various SMB clients across the country is greater than ours. So, it's very important for a channel partner to take this message down to smaller organizations spread out everywhere.
CW: How do IBM's Power and Storage Systems cater specifically to SMB needs?
On the Power Systems side, we have come out with an aggressive Linux offering. On the storage side, we have products like the DS3700, which is an entry-level storage product with virtualization capabilities. Then we have the mid-range to entry-level storage products. The V7000 product line is our mid-range product portfolio. So, you have the main storage box, but the client could have bought an HP or EMC or a Hitachi product. With the mother storage box of IBM, you can continue to re-utilize your old storage, while IBM's mother storage will take care of the virtualization part. So, the combination of low-end power systems with the entry-level DS3700 or 3000 storage box makes it a compelling reason for clients to look at it. This is specifically for SMB clients.
CW: But do Power Systems cater to SMBs with less than 100 employees as well?
We have x86 servers for companies with less than 100 users. The affordability of Power Systems, in spite of being really cheap, does not work for these users for various reasons. It could be affordability, skills, or remote locations. This is where the x86 portfolio comes into play. The visibility of Power is lower as we move down the value chain.
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