German Federal Ministry of Interior Signs Cooperation with IBM to Move to Linux and Open Software

Minister of the Interior Paves Way for Linux in German Administration on Federal, State and Communal Level

BERLIN, GERMANY - 03 Jun 2002: Minister of the Interior, Otto Schily, and CEO of IBM Germany, Erwin Staudt, today have signed a comprehensive cooperation contract of support in the German Public Administration's move to Linux and open software. The contract enables the Administration, on a federal, state and communal level, to buy IBM hardware and software running Linux under competitive pricing conditions.

"Post September 11th, I have taken the initiative to start discussions with a series of important representatives of the IT industry in Germany to look for ways to raise the level of security of IT infrastructures in the public and private sector under a framework of security partnerships," said Otto Schily, Minister of the Interior of the Federal Republic of Germany. "A necessary precondition for this is the use of trusted systems, especially trusted software."

"With the contract with IBM we meet three key targets. We raise the level of IT security by avoiding monocultures, we lower the dependency on single software vendors, and we reach costs savings in software and operation costs. In this, we are pacesetter in creating a greater diversity in the IT landscape. This is to the benefit not only the Federal Republic, but also to the states and communities, which, for the first time, can now quickly and simply hold of open source systems," said Schily.

Under the contract, conditions have been created to offer economic solutions for intensifying the use of open source software to authorities of the Federal Republic. A strategic cooperation management will also be established for IBM to support the Federal Republic in the creation of innovative and reusable IT solutions for the federal administration.

"The decision to use open source products in the federal administration is not only a signal for the future for states and communities, but also a commitment to the IT industry in Germany. Our common work groups are designed to help in defining suitable projects for the administration and to help prepare the practical use of open source software," said Erwin Staudt, CEO of IBM Germany.

IBM will deliver its eServers hardware pre-installed with Linux distributed by the German SMB enterprise SuSE Linux AG, supporting the IT industry in Germany.

"Linux offers the best potential as an alternative to Windows for server operating systems to reach more heterogeneity in the area of software. The fact that we have an alternative to Windows with Linux gives us more independence as a large software customer and is a major contribution to the economic use of IT in the administration", said Schily.