IBM is launching a new improved program for small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) to implement e-business systems and engage in electronic commerce.
According to Daniel Ng, senior marketing manager, IBM, the initiative, called E-start Your Business, is aimed at kickstarting e-business within SMEs.
"We realize that we can't just offer SMEs an e-business package and expect them to know how to use it," said Ng. "There must be training, service and support which we will provide through our business partners."
IBM will use Net.Commerce and Lotus Domino software to build e-commerce sites, intranets and extranets.
The in-house package includes Net.Commerce or Domino, an IBM server, and design and implementation services from IBM's partners.
IBM's SME strategy, both in Singapore and throughout Southeast Asia, is to discount the selling price of the hardware and software it supplies to its business partners providing the appropriate systems integration and implementation services.
"For this program, we are offering even greater discounts than usual and these will be passed on to the customer," said Ng. "On top of that, partners can also run their own early bird promotions."
IBM subsidiary International Application Solutions (IAS) is one such partner offering these services under its ONEweb program. Other partners include Mediaworks and SRV.
Each partner will receive certification by IBM and Lotus, which will identify their ability to deliver specific e-business systems and services.
In the pipeline, according to Ng, IBM plans to launch an even more inexpensive program for businesses that just want Web hosting services.
Apart from the SME initiative, IBM also plans to promote supply chain management and business intelligence under the e-business umbrella.
"Supply chain management provides customers with dynamic and instant access to the most current data and applications by linking together manufacturers, suppliers, distributors and customers using Internet technologies," said Ng.
"Business intelligence, which can take the form of data warehousing and data mining, is the process of turning operational data into competitive information," he added.ends this one