New IBM Unit Formed

Computer maker intends to apply its intellectual property to rapidly changing market

Paul McDougall, Editor At Large, InformationWeek

October 8, 2004

2 Min Read

Some of IBM's most senior executives will lead a new unit to define the role the company will play in a market in which big businesses increasingly look to open-source and industry standards-based software to build next-generation computing networks.

On-Demand Group general manager Irving Wladawsky-Berger is in the new group.

John Kelly, senior VP and group executive for IBM's Technology Group, will head the new group. Kelly's new title will be senior VP for technology and intellectual property. He'll be joined in the unit by On-Demand Group general manager Irving Wladawsky-Berger and Linux general manager Jim Stallings. All executives will retain their current responsibilities. While IBM did not announce the changes, a company spokesman confirmed them.

The move signifies IBM's intent to apply its intellectual property more effectively and quickly to a rapidly changing IT market. IBM wants to ensure that its support for industry-standard and open-source computing architectures isn't just a discussion point for product designers but an executive-level priority. The new group will ensure that IBM can deliver products that support standards-based tools used in specific vertical industries, such as the Uniform Code Council's UCCnet E-commerce network for retailers.

The strategy can pay off, says Mike Kahn, an analyst at the Clipper Group, who notes that efforts IBM made to bring Linux to its zSeries mainframe have helped boost its popularity without hurting sales of its proprietary zOS mainframe operating system. Says Kahn: "They've nicely segmented the market between those who want the economic benefits of Linux and those who need more robust capabilities."

About the Author(s)

Paul McDougall

Editor At Large, InformationWeek

Paul McDougall is a former editor for InformationWeek.

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