IBM Adds ‘X’ Factor

Calling it a renewal of its commitment to service providers, IBM (NYSE: IBM) today announced that it is renaming its ASP Prime program xSP Prime.

IBM says the expanded Prime program will target Web hosters, Internet data centers (IDCs), storage service provider (SSP) markets and other providers that use IBM hardware, software and services. To date, ASP Prime has focused on providing business and technical resources to software developers looking to ASP-enable applications.

“As we rolled out ASP Prime globally and continued working with other xSPs in the market, it became clear that client demand was exceeding our original intent for the program,” Dave Carlquist, vice president of IBM’s Global Net Generation Business said a statement released today at xSP Channel Conference in Boston. “The service provider sector is important for IBM and with the expansion to xSP Prime, we’re helping our Business Partners deliver stronger products and services to market faster, with better business plans and a solid understanding of the benefits — and sensitivities — of the xSP and ASP models.”

Elements of the program include the following:

  • Business Design Workshops: 1-2 day programs that are designed to allow service providers to validate key aspects of their business plan against industry benchmarks while formulating action plans to address potential gaps.
  • Financial Modeling Tools: calculates what-if scenarios by allowing xSPs to enter specific business variables, resulting in the identification of business and technology priorities.
  • Technical Strategy Workshops: helps service providers reduce infrastructure costs and apply appropriate technologies to achieve competitive advantage. IBM says the workshop is generally conducted after the Business Design Workshop and entails building a technical design that supports both the business model and the cost limitations identified in the Financial Modeling Tool.

  • xSP Prime Online: formerly ASP Prime Online, offers xSPs a way to gain access to IBM business and technical support offerings to help them in their implementation and deployment. Service providers can fill out the online questionnaire and receive immediate feedback with the opportunity to take advantage of complementary benefits, including access to marketing and sales support, discounts, educational programs, and software products.

The xSP Prime program will be available immediately, with selected extensions rolling out through the end of 2001 to qualified xSPs, IBM officials said. ASP Prime Online is currently available for independent software vendors (ISVs) and ASPs and will become available for an expanded xSP audience beginning the fourth quarter of 2001.

An xSP’s qualification is determined by the service provider’s level of commitment to deploy on IBM infrastructure, which could include hardware, software and/or services.

According to IBM, more than 300 ISVs have completed the ASP Prime Program. Participants visit one of 10 IBM ASP Prime Solution Centers worldwide where they have access to technical consulting, along with software, hardware and tools to help them ready their Web applications for hosting environments.

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