Mark Shearer, the IBM System i general manager, announced some big organizational news when I talked to him yesterday. Big Blue is splitting the server division in two.
High-end models like the 570 and 595 will be in a new Power Systems unit along with IBM’s Unix line, the System p. Lower-end models like the 515 and 525 will be in a Business Systems unit focused toward the SMB market.
Shearer also said that the first Power6-based System i server will be a 570. IBM will be announcing that next week. More Power6-based System i servers will be out later this year, even though Big Blue initially said the Power6 System i line would come out next year. Power6, of course, debuted in the System p server.
IBM will also introduce V6R1 of i5/OS next week. One interesting feature that Shearer spotlighted on the new i5/OS will be the ability of customers to pay just for operating features that they want. I’m not sure exactly how it’s going to work, but more details will probably come out next week on it.
Finally, Shearer said that IBM will be transforming its sales team from “product-based” to “client-based.” What that means is if you’re a channel partner or buy directly from IBM, you won’t have a System i rep, a System x rep, a System p rep, and a System z rep all knocking on your door. You’ll have one salesperson selling you a mix of IBM products to presumably meet your overall needs.