IBM Retains Southport Partners to Help Launch IBM Global Services

When IBM decided to go after the outsourcing business in a big way, they asked Southport Partners to help.

The objective was to transform ISSC, their services arm that did data center management for internal and external customers, into an organization that could rival market leader EDS.
Founded by Ross Perot, EDS had been growing rapidly in the business of outsourcing, where they took ownership of the data center operations of a large corporation in exchange for a long term services contract.

IBM knew how to run data centers, but had not done much in the way of big outsourcing deals.
Dennie Welsh (R), Global Services Chairman, signs a deal

ISSC Became “IBM Global Services”

Dennie Welsh became Chairman of Global Services (he was previously running ISSC), and Sam Palmissano became President under Dennie.

Sam, of course, went on to be President and then Chairman of the IBM Corporation.

Southport Partners worked with Dennie and Sam, calling on several large corporate prospects, and figuring out the best way to structure the complex contracts that often spanned 7 – 10 years.


From a modest start with mostly interally generated revenues, IBM Global Services grew to a nearly $60 billion enterprise. It now comprises about half of IBM’s total revenue.

Southport Partners is proud to have played a part in launching this business.

It’s our largest venture launch (so far).
Close Menu