IBM aces Unix, content management studies

Beating out Unix stalwarts Hewlett-Packard Co. and Sun Microsystems Inc., IBM Corp. has topped a customer satisfaction poll of data center Unix administrators.

About 10 to 15 percent of the respondents to the Fourth Quarter Unix Vendor Preference Survey were from federal agencies, said Dan Olds, CEO of Gabriel Consulting Group, which conducted the anonymous survey. He said that the answers from the public sector customers did not differ materially from those in the commercial sector.

Conducted this fall, the survey quizzed 197 enterprise Unix customers on their perceptions of major system vendors, looking at technology, vendor support and perceptions of how well the vendor would perform in the future. IBM scored the highest satisfaction rating for technology, which measured factors such as system scalability, though HP scored high marks for its operating system and partitioning features.

In the vendor category, the study looked at quality of service, vendor adherence to roadmaps and nine other categories. IBM scored highest here as well. HP was seen as "producing the most value for the service dollar," while Sun scored highest in its commitment to Unix.

"We were surprised by several of the results, particularly the order of finish," said Dan Olds, GCG principal analyst and CEO. "IBM finished first with very strong results, and HP scored a solid number two; we expected to see Sun Microsystems challenging for first place or at least a strong second place."
IBM also earned praise in a recently issued report from Forrester Research of Cambridge, Mass., on enterprise content management systems.

For this report, the research firm looked at how well enterprise content management suites organized their different components through unified management tools and infrastructure. An ECM suite may contain wide arrays of elements, including programs to manage Web content, digital assets, records as well as tools to manage workflow, reporting and search.

In Forrester's estimation, IBM Corp.'s ECM portfolio and EMC Corp.'s Documentum most successfully contained and coordinated all the appropriate features for an ECM.
The Forrester Wave: Enterprise Content Management Suites, Q3 2005 also lauded FileNet Corp., Hummingbird Communications Ltd., Interwoven Inc., and Vignette Corp. as well, though noted they "lack an IT infrastructure focus, and are better suited for content-centric [applications]."

Other ECM providers?notably Microsoft Corp., Oracle Corp., Open Text Corp., Mobius Management Systems Inc.?have refined their products further to truly enjoy the enterprise title, according to the Forrester study.

Joab Jackson is a senior writer for Washington Technology's sister publication, Government Computer News.

About the Author

Joab Jackson is the senior technology editor for Government Computer News.

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