RealTime IT News

Big Blue Makes the Grade at OSU

Claiming a victory over rival system vendors HP , Dell and Gateway , IBM Monday said it has secured a contract with Ohio State University (OSU) to provide $75 million worth of servers, desktops and laptops to the institution over a three-year period.

The exclusive contract makes Armonk, N.Y.'s IBM the primary vendor to provide computer hardware for the school's faculty, students and alumni. OSU will purchase IBM eServers, ThinkCentre desktops and ThinkPad laptops at discounted prices for the schools' systems, faculty and students. Uses include ThinkPads for medical students on the go to high performance servers to speed online admissions.

The university, which boasts 45,000 students and 20,000 faculty and staff, will also bolster its current server infrastructure with eServer xSeries systems running both Linux and Windows, which will power anything from schools admissions information, to library records and other student life activities.

Joanne Markiewicz, director purchasing at Ohio State University, said IBM offered the "full spectrum of systems, services and support that we were looking for" at a cost other systems vendors could not match.

The win is indicative of the fierce contract wars systems vendors IBM, HP, Dell and Gateway have been engaged in for years. At a time when customers are looking to get more for less, vendors, looking to boost their revenues significantly by selling their hardware in bulk, are cutting product prices and offering attractive package deals to consumers and large organizations.

In a similar deal last March, Dell secured a three-year bid to be the primary provider for desktop and laptop computers to healthcare provider Kaiser Permanente's medical offices and medical centers. During the lifecycle of that agreement, Dell agreed to provide as many as 95,000 Dell OptiPlex desktop computers and 11,000 Latitude notebook computers, along with a suite of tailored technology deployment services.