IBM Offers Protection for Baan Apps

Users looking to implement Baan Co.'s enterprise resource planning (ERP) software may want to consider a new IBM service that offers performance guarantees for up to two years on the company's RS/6000 Unix servers.

IBM last week announced a Performance Protection Plan for first-time Baan implementers guaranteeing that its hardware will meet certain predefined performance levels when running Baan ERP applications.

If the hardware fails to meet those levels, IBM will bear the full cost of providing whatever upgrade it takes -- such as more memory, CPUs or storage -- to get performance up to the agreed-upon levels, an IBM official said.

Questionnaire

Customers fill out a seven-page IBM questionnaire covering details such as planned transaction volumes and projected application loads on the Baan environment. Based on the user input, IBM will come up with platform recommendations that it will guarantee.

Such guarantees are rare but not unheard of in the industry, said Jonathan Eunice, an analyst at Illuminata Inc. in Nashua, New Hampshire. Companies such as Data General Corp. and Hewlett-Packard Co. have similar offerings, for example.

Hardware guarantees provide a measure of security for users and eliminate the complex capacity-planning exercises that ERP projects usually require, Eunice said.

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