IBM's confusing launch

IBM's confusing launch

IBM billed it as a "small business strategy review meeting". It was held over lunch at a smart North Sydney eatery. As well as IT press, there were scribes from community newspapers.

First, IBM pointed to its strength in the PC market - claiming to be the only vendor with a double digit market share - and growing.

Then came a presentation on the small- business market. Much was made of the contribution the SME sector makes to the overall economy.

Finally, the object of the meeting was to announce IBM's push for more business from small-business.

News of the Harvey Norman deal almost came as an afterthought and was not mentioned in the handouts. Although the material did have a brochure on the PC 340 - the box at the centre of HN's $1,999 offer.

The less-than two per cent leasing option was also not mentioned in the handouts. The printed material just said IBM was offering small businesses flexibility with the IBM FleetLease leasing option. Instead, the two per cent figure just popped out as part of the presentation.

"This whole deal will make the opposition gasp," said Bronwyn Guthrie, IBM PC Company's general manager, when referring to the total package.

It made us catch our breath, but clearly IBM is going to have to do a lot more marketing in the reseller channel to make the opposition gasp for breath.

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