IBM 'bully boy tactics' accusation



Toby Poston

IBM has been accused of misleading its mainframe customers and "scaring" them into dropping third-party software in favour...



Toby Poston

IBM has been accused of misleading its mainframe customers and "scaring" them into dropping third-party software in favour of its own.

Xephon analyst Barry Graham made his attack in a new report based on a total cost of ownership presentation made by an IBM representative at a Xephon seminar last October.

In the presentation, Roy Hunt, from IBM's System 390 software sales division, said there was a shift in firms' mainframe budgets, with third-party software costs rising sharply in relation to hardware and IBM software costs.

"IBM assumes a 20% per annum increase in the ISV [third party software] costs," Graham said. "This is so far above the level that any of my clients have or will experience as to be almost criminal."

He added that IBM was deliberately trying to "scare" customers into dropping third-party software for IBM's.

Hunt defended his presentation, saying that the cost of IBM software per millions of instructions per second had dropped 20% between 1998 and 1999.

"What [Graham] says does not reflect what our customers think: I visit 30-40 of them a year," Hunt said.

Hunt refuted the claim that UK users pay up to 50% more than US users for the same IBM software but admitted: "There is a gap in charges between the European and US markets. This is down to the more fragmented European market and the effects of exchange rates."

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