Despite being named as preferred technology partner in a request for proposal at Tranz Rail, IBM is likely to lose the hardware business to Sun and the database to Oracle because of the unproved nature of DB2 in the SAP environment.
Tranz Rail is implementing SAP in a project said to be worth around $20 million, three-quarters of which will accrue to KPMG as the consultant.
IBM was proposing RS/6000s - including the high-end SP2 — as the hardware platform running a DB2 database. The hardware component was worth around $1.5 million.
But in a sudden change of direction, Big Blue was notified recently that Tranz Rail proposed to go with Sun and an Oracle database.
“It’s an issue of risk management,” says Rail applications development manager Jim Harris.
“We prefer DB2 as our mainframe database but it’s only just been released in GA to run SAP R/3.
“We’ve been looking at a proved SAP environment, and Sun with Oracle running R/3 is very proved.”
IBM has provided Tranz Rail with DB2 benchmarks for R/3 but “it’s too early to run with it,” Harris says.
It’s not a done deal yet for Sun and Oracle but Harris confirms it is the only alternative Tranz Rail is looking at.
IBM remains preferred technology partner in other parts of Tranz Rail.