IBM Debuts Online Filing Cabinet

IBM Global
Services
Wednesday kicked off a pay-as-you-go storage program as part
of its “IT-on-demand” initiative.

At IBM, IT-on-demand refers to the
emerging model of outsourced services that companies use to deliver
networked utilities from a third party on an as-needed basis.

By adding pay-as-you-go hosted storage and storage management to its
portfolio of network-delivered services, IBM Global Services continues to
build its future on the side of the application service provider market
segment.

The business unit already offers a variety of web hosting solutions for the
bandwidth intense e-marketplace and is currently translating its
network-delivered services to the wireless market.

Industry analysts project that the total market for network-delivered
services could exceed $45 billion by 2003, with the storage segment
accounting for as much as $8 billion.

According to a recent report from IDC,
IBM Global Services has a commanding position in the worldwide network
consulting and integration services market, garnering some 16 percent of
revenues worldwide.

With annual revenues exceeding $20 billion, IBM Global Services is one of
the most profitable consulting services in the industry. It’s a sure bet
that IBM is looking to pickup another $1.28 billion from its managed
storage solution offering over the next three years.

Ginni Rometty, IBM Global Service general manager of strategy, said its
network-delivered services are an extension of the company’s strategic
outsourcing business supported by its extensive consulting and integration
skills.

“As companies focus on harnessing the potential of e-business, they are
looking to outsource as much of their day-to-day technology operations as
possible,” Rometty said. “With network-delivered services, companies get the
technology they need when they need it, while also reducing capital
expenditures and staffing requirements.”

More than 140,000 consultants in 160 countries will be tasked with selling
its new storage services to a diverse range of clients worldwide. In
addition to offering its storage services directly to customers, IBM also
delivers storage services through ISPs, ASPs and other leading outsourcing
services. The new storage services are available in the U.S., while IBM
plans to rollout worldwide services soon.

According to Roger Schwanhausser, IBM Global Services director of storage
and storage area network services, web-based marketing, business
intelligence and other e-business capabilities are creating an
unprecedented demand for access to stored data.

“In the e-business environment, storage requirements are becoming
increasingly complex,” Schwanhausser said. “As businesses become more
information-centric, they must be able to catalog and distribute growing
volumes of data, and handle the flow of content-rich audio and video
traffic over the network.”

The new storage services allow IBM clients the option of purchasing an
online filing cabinet on-site, at the customer’s premises, or off-site at one of
IBM’s 175 data centers sprinkled around the globe. Clients can further
customize storage solutions by electing to use a hybrid filing method that
keeps some data in-house while outsourcing the rest.

ChartOne is an ASP that manages
medical records for healthcare providers nationwide. It is using IBM’s
hosted storage solutions to maintain patient records in a secure
environment in accordance with the Health Insurance Portability and
Accountability Act.

Ivar Chhina, ChartOne president and chief operating officer, said the IBM
hosted storage solution was helping the dot-com start-up reduce its
operating costs.

“Internet-based imagi

ng, storage and access of patient charts is an ideal
solution for the healthcare industry, it helps reduce mountains of paper
and significantly lowers administrative costs.” Chhina said. “But it is
also very storage-intensive. A hosted storage solution can give us the
capacity we need, as we need it, without the large up-front capital
investment.”

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