Looking at the Year Ahead
Few would argue that 2001 has been a tough year. First the tech stocks took a tumble and stayed low. Soon thereafter, larger companies warned of profit losses, and many of them later announced major layoffs. The Federal Reserve kept cutting interest rates to spur the economy. Some economists predicted a recession. Then, the events of Sept. 11 left much of the world shaken emotionally and economically.
As I write this at the end of October, some economists say we're in a recession. The stock market is a little more stable. Interest rates remain low. The war on terrorism rages on.
It has been a tough year.
But what about the iSeries? According to IBM's Buell Duncan, general manager, Mid-market Servers, the platform is faring well in these trying economic times. In fact, IBM's third-quarter earnings report says the iSeries revenue stream grew and that the platform experienced growth in all geographies. And the future looks bright for the box (see, "Despite iSeries Success, Business Climate Concerns iSeries GM").
Then there are the iSeries solution providers, those companies that produce much of the software and tools that help optimize the platform's operating environment. How are these companies dealing with the economic slowdown? Does the iSeries financial situation lend a stabilizing influence? To find out, iSeries Magazine asked a handful of solution providers, both large and small, about their expectations for the coming year. Their candid responses reveal some optimism coupled with a strong dose of realism.
Revenue Drivers in 2002
In 2001, IBM introduced new solutions-namely, Linux* and iNotes-on the iSeries platform. It also enhanced a prominent existing technology, WebSphere*. Many respondents expect WebSphere to be a major revenue driver in 2002.
LANSA Inc. is one of WebSphere's backers. The Oak Brook, Ill.-based company believes it can help customers as they move to WebSphere. "Only a small percentage of iSeries customers have delivered robust transactional e-business applications. The ones that have are finding that there are many new areas of their business they can automate with e-business," explains LANSA's Bill Benjamin, vice president, business development. "Developing in Java* and WebSphere, with the associated long learning curves, can be difficult for many iSeries shops. Given IBM's focus on WebSphere and the branding behind it, we expect to have many customers looking to LANSA to help them take advantage of WebSphere."
"We are seeing a shift away from pure consulting to an applications solutions focus. Our clients can no longer afford projects with long completion times and are demanding fast payback on their critical projects. -Ed Hamlin, director of sales, United States and Canada, iWork Software
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