In addition to announcing a round of PCs, notebooks and servers, IBM last week unveiled a new agent-based management program, and a PC sales and service Web site.
With some help from Intel, IBM revealed Universal Management Agent, agent and server technology aimed at simplifying installation and management of networked PCs. The agents can be deployed on IBM and non-IBM Intel PCs, and they work with a number of other management offerings, officials said.
Big Blue has also unveiled a Web site that enables customers to purchase its products via the Web. Using electronic links with its business partners in the channel, IBM hopes to emulate some of the Internet-commerce success its competitors have enjoyed.
It is available now in the US and features products from IBM's ThinkPad, NetFinity, Commercial Desktop, IntelliStation, Options, and Monitors divisions. On the local front, IBM has similar plans in store for the sale of this wide range of products, and yes, channel partners will be critical to the strategy.
"The system we are trying to set up will allow customers to purchase PCs over the Web but the orders will still be fulfilled by the channel," Rebecca Keyworth, a spokesperson for IBM Australia, said.
IBM's Personal Systems Group plans to introduce the Web service by the end of the year, Keyworth added.