IBM has produced a new server package aimed at reassuring small businesses that it is continuing to work with Oracle products.

The i520 Solution Edition for Oracle's EnterpriseOne is for businesses with fewer than 100 seats of ERP (enterprise resource planning) software.

It includes integrated hardware and software with enough disk storage to support an application suite including asset lifecycle, customer relationship, financial, human capital, project, supplier and supply chain management.

Oracle execs have been making efforts in recent months to retain the 5,000 JD Edwards customers they inherited when the company purchased PeopleSoft in January.

At a user conference in April, Oracle president Charles Phillips pledged to support the company's full range of ERP products in perpetuity.

The system is priced to be cheaper than Wintel servers, and uses an IBM iSeries 520 server running IBM's Power5 processors and i5 OS, but is able to run other operating systems from Windows to Linux or AIX.

IBM sales has struggled recently because of their higher price over competing computers from Dell or HP. The new server aims to reverse that, competing on both purchase price and lower cost of ownership over time.

Reliability is important to system administrators since 70 percent of IT budgets are now spent on maintenance, explained IBM sales manager Carter Adkinson, with only 30 percent dedicated to buying new computers, he said.

That ratio is the inverse of cost structures 10 years ago. Users applauded the lower pricing, but said reliability was the most important factor.

The new server will be available on 11 August and will cost $21,921.