Gateway Taps IBM for Tech Support

Looking to expand beyond PCs, Gateway has siged a new pact to provide its business customers with technical support from IBM’s services arm. Financial terms were not disclosed.

The deal covers Gateway servers, ranging from its entry-level 920 series to its new 995 series, and includes: field-based support with next-business-day and four-hour response time; on-site repair; parts logistics; and other infrastructure and professional services.

“We’re excited about the synergies between IBM’s services and our strong — and growing — systems and networking product line,” said Jim Jones, a Gateway vice president.

Gateway said its IBM pact is the latest step in its transformation from a traditional PC maker to a “branded integrator of technology solutions.” In the next four months, the Poway, Calif., firm will launch new products to extend its presence in the corporate market.

The Gateway/IBM deal wasn’t the only news designed to make life easier for enterprise IT managers.

TSANet (Technical Support Alliance Network), a vendor-neutral support alliance, said it has pulled together a group of Linux vendors to form a new community to support enterprise users of the operating system.

Initially, the group will include BEA, Dell, EMC, HP, Network Appliance, Novell, SuSE, Unisys, VERITAS, and VMware, with additional vendors expected in the near future.

“The Linux community has the common objective of providing mission-critical support to enterprise-level customers,” said Dennis Smeltzer, TSANet’s executive director.

The group is the fourth open group community formed within TSANet. The others are: Microsoft Datacenter, which allows collaboration among vendors with products on the Windows Datacenter operating system; the Storage Networking Industry Association, which addresses support issues for storage vendors; and Mission-Critical Customer, which supports enterprise-level customers in mission-critical environments.

Members say the community will help vendors work together and encourage the use of Linux by large corporate customers.

“This open source model encourages open collaboration on support issues relating to customers using or looking at using Linux in the enterprise,” said Steve Geary, research and development manager, HP Open Source Development Lab.

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