The new services model, unveiled Wednesday, takes what IBM says are "reusable service components" and makes them the underpinnings of a project. Companies that agree to a more standardized approach to server, storage, service desk, and unified communication projects can reduce the time of deployment by up to 60% and reduce management costs by up to half, according to IBM.
An example of what IBM is offering would be in virtualizing servers beyond the 20% of light workloads, such as print, file, or Web content, that are virtualized today. IBM says it can apply pre-configured server builds that can get an environment running in days, rather than weeks or months.
IBM believes its pre-set services model is more efficient than starting each IT project with a "bank piece of paper," Erich Clementi, senior VP for IBM Global Technology Services, says.
"By infusing our industry-leading expertise, software capabilities, experience, and best practices into our service offerings in a standardized, systematic method we can speed up the time it takes to do something very complex in a very reliable way," Clementi said in a statement. "This frees up time for IBM and our clients to collaborate more on innovative solutions to business challenges and exploring new possibilities."
The new services model is particularly useful now that companies are going beyond using IT to cut costs and are interested in new technologies, such as cloud computing. IBM claims it used its standardized approach internally to overhaul its storage infrastructure and lower its costs by nearly 50%.
IBM is currently working with BNSF Railway to reduce the latter company's cost by millions of dollars and to prepare its IT infrastructure for future initiatives, such as cloud computing, analytics, legacy system migration, and application management. To help BNSF reach those goals, IBM is using its pre-engineered technology services for storage optimization and server virtualization.
"IBM's solution not only brings us significant cost savings, but also a foundation that promotes continuous innovation," Jo-ann Olsovsky, VP and chief information officer for BNSF, says in a joint statement with IBM.
IBM's new storage optimization service leverages a single set of integrated tools that support more than 150 different devices from multiple vendors. In modernizing a customer's service-desk environment, IBM says it can improve helpdesk caller response times through a 24/7/365 global support service in 50 languages. Finally, IBM says it can create a unified communications network in weeks and use analytics-based client portals to analyze data for better business decisions.