Green Streak program for iSeries revived

IBM expects this marketing program to be as successful as the first. Green Streak II has rebates, discounts and a financing plan that allows buyers to defer payment until 2004.

IBM on Wednesday reintroduced its popular Green Streak marketing program, this time with rebates and discounts of up to $40,000 on iSeries servers and a financing promotion, dubbed Power of Zero Plus, that allows customers to defer all payments on IBM products until next year, interest free.

The promotion comes at a time when companies of all sizes, in all industries, are managing end-of-year costs while striving to employ the latest technology in their businesses.

Similar to the successful Triple Zero financing program, which was available last year, the Power of Zero Plus financing gives qualified customers a deferral of payments at no charge for up to 90 days, followed by financing with rates as low as 3.75% for U.S. customers.

In addition to the Power of Zero Plus, Green Streak II includes a rebate of up to $40,000 for customers who purchase an iSeries Model 810 and a qualifying ISV business continuity offering. IBM is also offering a discount of up to 50% on disk storage with the purchase of an Integrated xSeries solution, which is used for consolidating Windows servers on the iSeries. IBM said it would expand on the Integrated xSeries offering at the end of the month, with promotions specifically targeted at the iSeries.

The original Green Streak program, introduced in July 2002, was an attempt by IBM to reconnect with AS/400 customers and give them incentives to upgrade to the iSeries. The company offered 50% discounts on specific iSeries Model 270 and Model 820 servers. It was a successful attempt by Big Blue to lure users to the platform and to make the iSeries more attractive to small and medium-sized businesses (SMBs).

According to Ian Jarman, IBM's iSeries product manager, the first Green Streak program brought about 175,000 AS/400 users to the new platform. Jarman said he expects this new program to be just as successful at bringing customers "to the next stage." Jarman said IBM would be introducing a number of promotions under Green Streak II throughout the next several months.

IBM has made several announcements in recent months in order to up the appeal of the iSeries and to drive business, particularly in the SMB market. In July, it introduced its "Power to Choose" program, which gives customers the choice of making lower payments on certain products with reduced financing rates or deferring all payments at no charge until 2004.

In January, IBM introduced two low-end additions to the iSeries family and included WebSphere Express as part of its standard offering in the new models. In addition to WebSphere Express, the iSeries Enterprise Edition systems include IBM Lotus QuickPlace and Lotus Instant Messaging, Tivoli and DB2 database software -- making it very attractive to low-end users. In May, IBM began offering a special prepayment plan for its on-demand capabilities, allowing customers to prepay for capacity instead of getting billed monthly.

IBM's Power of Zero Plus financing is available worldwide through its in-house financing unit, IBM Global Financing. It includes xSeries, iSeries and pSeries eServers and selected zSeries eServer models, as well as TotalStorage products, PCs, retail store systems, printing systems and IBM one-time charge software. The offering ends Dec. 31 in the United States and Canada.

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Let us know what you think about the story; e-mail: Kate Evans-Correia, Senior News Editor.

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