IBM, SuSE sign Linux product sales deal

IBM and SuSE Linux have signed an agreement under which all of Big Blue's Linux software products will be available from the German open-source company in Europe, the Middle East, and Africa (EMEA).

The deal, made public as this year's Linux World Conference and Expo opened here Tuesday, makes SuSE the chief European distributor for IBM's DB2, WebSphere, Lotus, and Tivoli product lines, the companies said in a joint statement.

IBM will "actively support" sales of SuSE's products -- SuSE Linux Groupware Server with Lotus Domino R5, SuSE Linux Database Server with IBM's DB2 Universal Database, and IBM's WebSphere Commerce Suite 5.1 for Linux -- and will deliver related contracts via SuSE.

IBM is firmly committed to its support of Linux, said Erich Clementi, the company's vice president for system sales, EMEA, in his keynote address to conference participants.

"We believe there is a new generation of e-business underway," he said. "We think the new generation will be built on open source."

Clementi said he sees open standards as the industry standards of the future, rather than company-owned proprietary standards, which he termed "a monopoly."

"We think the time of proprietary standards is over, and that's a remarkable statement coming from a company that probably invented proprietary standards some time ago," he said.

Big Blue has made no secret of its bet on Linux; so far the company has announced plans to invest some US$1.3 billion in development and support for the open-source operating system.

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