IBM has put Linux on the menu after signing a deal to develop Linux-based systems to help food and consumer goods distributors optimise supply chains and customer management.
Under the terms of an agreement with distribution software firm Integrated Distribution Solutions (IDS), Big Blue will develop systems for the pair's existing base of 800 joint customers running IDS software on IBM eServer systems and middleware.
The jointly developed Linux offerings will be targeted at distributors in the food service, grocery, convenience and consumer goods industries.
As part of the deal, IDS will configure its Power Enterprise suite of products on IBM's eServer iSeries, xSeries and pSeries hardware platforms running the Linux operating system.
IBM will also assist IDS in marketing the Power Enterprise applications, and provide technical support to IDS.
"Clearly, the benefits that Linux offers to customers make it a critical offering for all vendors' short-term and long-term growth strategies," said Buell Duncan, general manager, ISV & developer relations, at IBM.
"Some 4,700 of our business partners already support Linux-enabled IBM software, which is a strong indication of the value that Linux delivers to both partners and customers."
Todd Michaud, IDS president, added: "We have learned over the years that we must pick our strategic technology partners carefully so that our customers get comprehensive solutions to their business problems."
The IDS-IBM agreement is an extension of an alliance formed by the two companies in 2002.
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