IBM touts durability

IBM officials Thursday hailed the vendor's On Demand computing strategy and emphasized that customers can count on the continued existence of its technologies.

IBM's Steve Mills, senior vice president and group executive in the IBM software group, touted the strength and popularity of IBM product lines during a keynote speech at the IBM developerWorksLive conference. He said, for example, that the WebSphere applications platform has 50,000 customers, that the Eclipse development platform has had 6.9 million downloads, and that the DB2 database has more than 400,000 customers.

He also called IBM the leading portal vendor, with more than 1,200 customers, and cited its Rational tools portfolio as having more than 600,000 customers.

"These things are important because you want to make investments in technology that are going to be durable, that are going to last, that are going to be improved," Mills said. "You are looking for durability, you're looking for a level of certainty in what are clearly uncertain times."

IBM, he stressed, has long-term commitments to technology and results.

IBM officials again pushed the company's On Demand strategy, also called e-business on demand, for integrated, end-to-end business processes across companies and their partners, suppliers, and customers.

"E-business on demand is a very broad initiative and to keep us focused on such a broad initiative, we have a very focused message," said Irving Wladawsky-Berger, IBM general manager for e-business On Demand.

The strategy leverages advanced technology and expertise to help customers increase productivity, he said.

"What we cannot do is just throw the technology at our customers and tell them, 'They are wonderful, you figure out what to do with them.' Increasingly, it is our job to make sure that along with our technology, we bring the expertise," said Wladawsky-Berger.

IBM's business consulting group is looking at 17 different industries to establish best practice schemes, he said.

Mills said IBM will deliver a set of hooks, connections, and optimized routines that drive IBM language-based build tools to different run-time environments.

IBM is committed to cross-platform tools that are operating system-independent, he said. Legacy applications will be drawn into the mix.

"You're not going to achieve the On Demand vision without dealing with the legacy [code]," said Mills.

He promised that IBM would leverage its different technologies across various product lines, such as incorporating Tivoli management capabilities into WebSphere or utilizing the DB2 data store in Lotus offerings and using Lotus capabilities in IBM's portal software.

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