Sales plunged 22% in the first quarter and 12% in the fourth quarter last year. The three consecutive quarterly drops follow three consecutive quarterly surges, when IBM pushed the iSeries line with upgrades and aggressive marketing.
Now, it's unclear whether those increases were more of a blip on the radar screen rather than a trend upwards. In the 16 fiscal quarters from 2001 to 2004, for example, iSeries revenue dropped 10 times. The increasing revenue during most of last year had hopes high within Big Blue that users were starting to return to the iSeries.
During that time, IBM pushed the platform hard, running ads in TV and print media. It also increased support for its independent software vendors (ISVs) and developed its internal software applications.
IBM continues to push its connections with ISVs, most recently with JD Edwards by configuring an iSeries box for those applications. It has also brought in two sales and marketing executives since the beginning of the year. Elaine Lennox became vice president of iSeries marketing in January after Peter Bingman left for a job at LexisNexis. More recently in June, IBM appointed one of its star Unix sales executives, Peter Small to direct ISV and partner sales for System i.
Some other IBM numbers comparing second-quarter revenues for the same period last year:
- Hardware revenues for the Systems and Technology Group were $5 billion for the quarter, up 3%.
- Revenue for System z, the mainframes, increased 7%. IBM also measures the delivery of System z computing power in millions of instructions per second (MIPS), which jumped 7%. Revenues for System x were flat.
- Revenues from the System p Unix servers dropped 10%.
- Microelectronics revenues rose 45% and system storage slid down 2%.
Let us know what you think about the story; e-mail: Mark Fontecchio, News Writer