iSeries revenue up 10%

After a disastrous 2004, the iSeries, buoyed by an increased push from IBM toward wider usage, saw revenue jump 10% for the second quarter of 2005.

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The iSeries renaissance IBM has been pushing for over the last six months received another boost Monday, as Big Blue announced iSeries revenue rose 10% in the second quarter of 2005.

The jump in revenue marked the second straight quarter that the iSeries has landed in the black, following a modest 1% increase in revenue in Q1 of this year.

On the surface, the general spike in revenue for 2005 might not seem overly significant. But don't tell that to IBM's mid-range brass after the iSeries suffered a near-disastrous 2004 in which revenue dropped 17% overall.

And 2004 wasn't the only down year for the 'i.' In the 16 fiscal quarters since 2001, iSeries revenue dropped 10 times -- including eight quarters that saw a falloff of 10% or more -- and 2004's poor showing marked the third time in four years the platform saw a double-digit drop-off overall.

Those figures led Big Blue to replace iSeries sales vice president Bob McCormick with Bill Donohue, a former vice president of eServer pSeries sales who earned a reputation as a "heavy-hitter" after overseeing a reemergence of the p's numbers over the past four years.

Tony Lock, chief analyst for U.K.-based Bloor Research, has monitored the iSeries since its inception. He said it appears as though Big Blue's effort in pumping up the 'i' over the last 12 months is starting to pay off.

"IBM hasn't been successful in pushing the qualities [of the iSeries] to a much wider customer base [since its inception] … last year they were serious about ramping up efforts to pushing the iSeries. They've done good job internally, especially in Europe, and now they are showing the fruits of that success. But they have to keep aggressively marketing it. They have to keep pushing it."

Lock, for one, has high praise for the iSeries' capabilities, and said perhaps these numbers show that Big Blue's mid-range platform is ready to "come out of the shadows."

"I think that the iSeries is a hidden gem in IBM's armory. It's so easy to manage and flexible that it deserves much broader usage," Lock said. "Anybody who uses these machines absolutely loves them."

Let us know what you think about the story; e-mail: Luke Meredith, News Writer

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