In order to gain a bigger slice of the SME pie, IBM is committing to the channel this year.
IBM marketing manager personal systems group Australia New Zealand, Peter Di Pientrantonio, said the company has had to change its way of thinking in order to break into the growing SME market.
"Any business with 1000 employees or less will go through the channel and to support that 80 per cent of our marketing budget will also go to the channel," he said.
A call centre for Australasia now refers warm leads to IBM's most valuable partners on a geographic basis, backed up with press and billboard advertising directing buyers to a URL site with a reseller locator. \ "Our research shows that 80 to 90 per cent of SME buyers depend on a dealer for purchase and they put a lot of faith in the reseller, so we need to support the channel because that's our way forward," Di Pientrantonio said.
While IBM wass known for reliable and trustworthy products, many potential customers thought IBM was expensive to buy, he said.
"There's also the perception that the company chops and changes a lot," Di Pientrantonio said. "But I can tell you that IBM has made a commitment to pushing the PC in the marketplace."