IBM is toting its range of Express hardware, software and service offerings as the IT industry’s first portfolio designed and priced specifically for medium-sized business customers.
Resellers have been told the vendor wants to pursue opportunities in the SMB space as aggressively as it did when focusing its energies on services a decade ago. It is now the largest services company in the world.
General manager of IBM’s commercial sector, Steve Worrall, said the SMB market was outperforming the IT industry as a whole, citing IDC predictions that companies with less than 1000 employees would account for 54 per cent of IT spend in 2003.
Worrall said one-fifth of IBM’s total global revenue of about $US87 billion came from the SMB space. He estimated that figure was nearer to a third in the Australian market, which was why the SMB focus was so important to the vendor going forward.
“IBM is associated predominately with the top end of the market but the reality is quite different,” he said. “It is essential for us to be relevant to the SMB market because our senior leadership looks at this space as the one to dominate in the future.”
Worrall said the essence of the message behind the new Express range would be that the products were easy to afford, install and manage.
He said that message was particularly relevant in Australia, where he estimated only a couple of hundred of organisations had more than 1000 employees.
“Express has several characteristics relating to speed of implementation and return on investment,” Worrall said “The idea is not about complexity, but technology that does the job well and quickly so users can get on with running their business.
“Technology is not all that interesting to SMBs – it is a necessary function.”
New software offered under the Express branding includes WebSphere Commerce and WebSphere MQ. An IBM spokesperson said the new products will be generally available in the third quarter.
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