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IBM Reports to Sector7

IBM has acquired the application porting services business from Sector7, a privately held software applications services company that helps customers pare IT costs by migrating software applications to operate on IBM platforms using the Linux and AIX operating systems.

Financial terms were not disclosed. But IBM has acquired a majority of Sector7's assets and intellectual property and will hire Sector7 employees to work on on-demand e-business services in the IBM Global Services division. These projects will aim to reduce the time and cost associated with migrating to Linux, as well as the consolidation of servers and databases, said a company spokesman.

Linux is big business for Big Blue, which has spent more than a billion dollars to market it from every facet, just as it is for such rivals as HP, Oracle and Dell. Offering customers the ability to make migration to Linux easier is another way for the company to gain an edge over competitors.

Armonk, N.Y.'s IBM uses Linux on its zSeries mainframes and has been successful selling the Linux-based iSeries servers to enterprises looking to lodge their infrastructure in more open environs. In fact, IBM's first on-demand virtual server service was issued through a Linux-based zSeries mainframe last July. IBM subsequently added such services across the remainder of its server platforms.

More broadly, the purchase is another stepping stone on the path to build IBM's services leadership.

The latest Gartner stats for worldwide IT services show that IBM as the worldwide leader with a 7.5 percent market share through August 2003. EDS, Fujitsu and HP follow at a distant 3.9 percent, 2.6 percent and 2.3 percent, respectively.

Sector7 was established in the U.K. in 1985 and moved to Austin, Texas in 1989 and later worked a great deal with IBM. What is left of Sector7, a division specializing in doing migrations from the HP operating system VMS, will operate under the name Digital Migrations.



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