Search Engine Scanning: The System i Wins a Few Deals
March 10, 2008 Timothy Prickett Morgan
The Internet is a wonderful thing in so many ways. One of them is that the Internet is somewhat self-aware, and if you tell it to look for certain patterns, it can find them. I did a trolling through some search engines last week, and ran across a few deals involving the System i that were woven in between all the references to content generated by IT Jungle’s writers. These deals are probably more representative of the kinds of sales that IBM and its business partners do every week than the big deals that make the trade press from time to time.
A few weeks ago, I reported on two big deals that the System i platform had lost, one at the U.S. Mint and the other at AT&T Wireless. (See The System i Loses One Big Account and a Mid-Sized One, Too.) No one in the System i community likes to see this kind of thing happening, of course. And it takes a lot of small deals to balance out the big ones that Big Blue loses.
According to a report that appeared in both CIO Magazine and Computerworld‘s New Zealand edition, Sheppard Industries, the maker of the Avanti line of bikes, is doing a million dollar upgrade to its ERP and manufacturing system, one that involves moving away from a Sun Microsystems Solaris platform running a 20-year-old application called Quanta to a suite of M3 manufacturing software (formerly known as Movex from Intential International and written in Java) running atop a System i platform. The Quanta package lost out even though Quanta Systems is located in New Zealand, just like Sheppard Industries is. You can bet that Sun was also keen on keeping the account, too. The exact configuration of the System i machine was not reported.
A somewhat smaller deal was picked up in the Ocheyedan Press, the local paper in the Iowa town by that name, but this deal had one very important point in it that should give some hope to all of us out there in System i land. According to the report, Osceola County, where Ocheyedan is located, and apparently other counties in Iowa, are looking to upgrade their systems. And after reviewing six different proposals that ranged in price from $32,086 to $41,687, the county and its business partner, GMD Solutions of nearby Spencer, Iowa, had proposed a $36,187 configuration of a System i 515 user-priced system–and it won the bidding. Here’s the interesting bit about the deal: Osceola County is the trial installation for other counties in Iowa, according to the report. So this could lead to other installations down the road in Iowa. The newspaper reported that Osceola County was a “guinea pig” because GMD Solutions had not supported this kind of system before, but that has to mean a user-priced 515, not an OS/400 or i5/OS server, since this business partner has deep experience in the AS/400, iSeries, and System i platforms.