IBM is attempting to establish SAP on the zSeries mainframe, a platform that has until now been closed to the pervasive ERP system.
IBM made an announcement on a Spanish and other Web sites last week, but has yet to make an official announcement on its own site. According to noticias.info, the $40m (£21.1m) investment will cover a commitment to test, enable and support SAP applications over the next five years and to enhance existing SAP technical centres. The relationship will "enable a strong technical relationship between IBM and SAP", IBM said.
The technology centres will support a new System z9 Advantage for SAP Applications programme. The programme will give customers help in implementing and running SAP applications, the company said.
IBM says the programme will use the recently released zSeries Integrated Information Processor (zIIP) for data-centric applications. This is an IBM DB2 database and services package for IBM System z9 Technology Centers and IBM Global Technology Services.
"Customers will benefit from incentives up to $250,000," said Jim Stallings, general manager, zSystem. "Compelling pricing combined with the mainframe's legendary reliability and security features are attributes that organisations running SAP applications will find very appealing."
"IBM has historically eschewed packaged solutions, particularly on the mainframe," said Gartner analysts Mike Chuba, Dale Vecchio and John R Phelps in a report. "Now the company is trying to establish the mainframe as a 'solutions platform' and is putting money into making this happen."
System z9 Advantage for SAP Applications is available for both IBM's System z9 Enterprise Class and System z9 Business Class servers, the company said. IBM believes that the new offerings can benefit companies who want to deploy their first SAP application functions on System z hardware.