In another case of "better late than never", IBM plans to release a Windows NT-based software package targeted at small businesses by the end of the year, a senior IBM official has revealed.
Like its initial adoption of the NT platform - which did not occur until the end of 1996 - Big Blue appears to have given a sizeable headstart to its competitors in the software space.
And this time, the biggest winner of all is its nemesis Microsoft.
The planned release of IBM's Small Businesses Suite in October this year will trail the launch of Microsoft's Small Business Server by almost 12 months. Already, the Microsoft offering appears to have hit a chord with both customers and resellers, meaning Big Blue will have to make up ground in both market share and mindshare.
IBM is relying on its product being perceived as superior technologically to counter Microsoft's current dominance. According to Pat Gibney, IBM's Windows NT systems manager, the channel will play a vital role in promoting, supporting and adding functionality to the Small Business Suite.
"We recognise that in the small business space we absolutely need the help of the independent software vendors (ISVs) and value-added resellers (VARs) to penetrate the market," Gibney told ARN exclusively, during a visit to Australia this week. "Especially from a technological point of view, the small business suite will offer the channel a tremendous opportunity for ISVs to integrate their products with ours."
For more information, see ARN, July 29.