In a move which underlines the worldwide trend away from legacy networks to TCP/IP-supporting open systems, IBM has signed up InterConnect as the sole distributor of its networking products in New Zealand.
InterConnect, which handles 3Com, WRQ and Security Dynamics products, will now distribute IBM routers, hubs and LAN technology, replacing IBM’s direct sales force.
Ian Gardner, IBM networking specialist, says the move follows Big Blue’s strategy worldwide and underpins its push into e-commerce, intranets and open standards technology.
At the same time, he says it will help IBM legacy and SNA network customers migrate to the TCP/IP environment. TCP/IP is the protocol over which the Internet and intranets run. “To deliver applications e-commerce, we had to have the underlying infrastructure. To do that we had to find a partner. IBM has the understanding of SNA and legacy systems, InterConnect has the understanding of the more open environment. “Most of IBM’s networking revenue at the moment comes from SNA networks.
This move should see revenues migrate from host solutions to solutions based on things such as Lotus Domino, intranets and network computing.”
Gardner says products such as WRQ’s emulation range and Security Dynamics systems closely complement IBM’s networking and
Deane Hornsby, IBM’s business development manager, says IBM will not lay off any of its sales force as a result.
Nick Gaunt, InterConnect general manager, described the likely revenue from IBM products as significant. He says InterConnect, which is wholly owned by Datacom, will increase its staff to support the agreement.
Worldwide, IBM’s biggest competitor in the SNA-to-LAN internetwork migration market is Cisco. Both companies are busy announcing hardware and software to improve TCP/IP performance on mainframes and ease migration. In April IBM announced an upgrade to its TCP/IP for MVS software and Cisco followed with a CiscoBlue Intranet Roadmap, which defines plans for morphing IBM System/390 main-frames into big servers for corporate TCP/IP nets, supporting legacy and Java-based applications.
IBM’s network hardware division faces increased competition from Intel, which recently set up a local office with the vow to push its network business.