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EDS Picks Technology Partners To Take On IBM

EDS is teaming up with the likes of CA, Dell, and Sun to be more price-competitive with IBM's utility-computing strategy.
EDS is forming partnerships with several major hardware and software vendors in an effort to be more price-competitive against IBM's successful utility-computing strategy.

The IT services firm will work with Computer Associates, Dell, EMC, Sun Microsystems, and Xerox to create utility-computing capabilities at its data centers in the United States and worldwide, officials said Tuesday . It has also tapped Microsoft as a partner for user applications.

Charlie Feld, executive VP for portfolio management at EDS, says the partnerships represent a strategic shift for the firm. Feld says EDS hasn't been price competitive with IBM in the past because of the expense of supporting numerous software and hardware combinations on behalf of its services customers. "We have been reluctant to choose sides," Feld said at a meeting with financial analysts Tuesday in New York. "But being agnostic is too expensive."

EDS will look to those vendors for help creating what it's calling its Agile Enterprise Platform, through which outsourcing customers pay only for the amount of computing power they use during a given period. EDS is also partnering with MCI and Cisco Systems to develop secure network offerings.

The effort is clearly aimed at countering IBM's successful eBusiness On-Demand program, through which IBM offers outsourced computing services to customers in numerous industries based on usage. IBM uses a combination of Linux, along with its own hardware and middleware such as WebSphere and DB2, for its utility-computing platform.

EDS said it expects to unveil more details about the partnerships--and the service offerings they'll generate--in the coming weeks.

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Brian T. Horowitz, Contributing Reporter
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