IBM has continued to build on its new channel-friendly approach as it looks to win a larger slice of SMB business. The vendor will launch a range of six new ThinkPad notebooks and six ThinkCentre PCs targeted specifically at the SMB market on November 11.
The new models – which are part of IBM’s Express branding – will be distributed through Tech Pacific, IT Wholesale, Ingram Micro and Synnex.
“The Express products will have aggressive pricing without cutting into the margins of channel partners,” channels manager of the IBM Personal Computing Division, Phil Cameron, said. “It is the first time we have had an integrated theme and we are looking forward to strong support from the channel.”
IBM will generate leads by highlighting Express models in an SMB product catalogue it circulates through national and regional newspapers every quarter.
Partners will also be asked to use co-operative marketing dollars to conduct direct mailing and telemarketing campaigns. IBM has about 360 certified partners across Australia.
The Express idea was first applied to WebSphere last year but has since been used as a method of marketing DB2, Notes and Tivoli to the SMB market.
IBM now has nine software products that offer a pared down Express version and 72 partners that have ported an application to it or completed Express training.
Regional manager of the IBM SMB and software channels, Duncan Hewett, said WebSphere and DB2 had been the most successful Express releases to date.
“The need for integration of backend data and systems a customer already has is a business issue across the marketplace,” he said. “Everyone needs a database and has to be able to connect a new solution to existing data and systems.
“We have a couple of partners that have taken their technology and embedded Express products. We want to attract more independent software developers that can provide value to solve a problem with our technology underneath.”