IBM is offering a System i machine preconfigured to run enterprise resource planning (ERP) software from JD Edwards (JDE).
Software from JD Edwards has been available on System i, the iSeries and the AS400 for decades, long before the acquisitions by PeopleSoft and then Oracle. The preconfigured server, called the System i 520 Solution Edition for Oracle's JD Edwards EnterpriseOne, will be available Aug. 11 and starts at $21,921. The catch is that the customer has to commit to spending at least $25,000 with Oracle, whether it is on software or services.
The release by IBM signals its commitment to JD Edwards products on the iSeries, which many end users felt would fall by the wayside after the acquisition by Oracle.
John Matelski, chief security and deputy chief information officer for the city of Orlando, Fla., said that IBM has done a good job of adjusting its hardware to fit customer needs in all market segments.
In Orlando, Matelski and others oversee hundreds of systems, including 12 AS400 environments running on seven servers. The AS400 machines host the city's police computer aided dispatch and record systems and JD Edwards financials, among other functions, and so Matelski said the platform is supporting some of the city's most mission-critical applications.
"IBM has done a wonderful job supporting customers and has been working very closely with Oracle to ensure that customer investments are protected," Matelski wrote in an email. He later added that this recent move by IBM to configure System i for JD Edwards applications "is providing customers with a viable path through which they can evolve their ERP implementations as technology changes."
Carter Adkinson, IBM System i global sales and business development manager for Oracle, said the new iSeries for JD Edwards is configured specifically for companies with 100 employees or fewer. Along with the JD Edwards applications, the machine comes integrated with antivirus, database and management software from IBM.
"We're really going after small and medium businesses and trying to do a price competitive analysis to position it with the Wintel solutions," Adkinson said.
According to Adkinson, the Wintel boxes might cost less up front but more over the long haul because IT managers have to install and integrate software themselves, or contract it out.
He added that the new release is focused on JD Edwards for a reason.
"They're one of our top ISVs [independent software vendor]," he said. "We've got a huge install base, and we've got a lot of customers looking at JD Edwards, and we want to grow our business as well."
Andy Klee, president of ERP consulting firm Klee Associates, which publishes a regular tips page for JD Edwards software, said that if IBM wants to continue to appease its System i customers, it will make sure that Oracle Fusion middleware will run on the iSeries as well.
"I believe that most JDE customers are really hoping that Oracle and IBM can come to an agreement that would allow for Oracle's next generation application (Fusion) to run natively on an AS400 and/or that Fusion will be able to run on a DB2 database," he wrote.
Let us know what you think about the story; e-mail: Mark Fontecchio, News Writer