IBM targets SMEs with e-commerce offerings

Determined to make its e-business concept more accessible to small and medium-sized customers, IBM this week launched a host of solutions packages that it claims will spawn greater integration activity for channel partners.

The vendor's move follows strong reaction from the small business market to its concerted e-business advertising campaign.

According to IBM e-business spokesperson Andrew Baker, the response from small businesses suggested that e-commerce planning no longer solely resides at the enterprise level. In fact, through its partners IBM plans to sell e-commerce solution packages to small businesses with no IT department, and those organisations with some IT experience.

IBM has broken its e-commerce package into four components: an e-commerce Starter Pack; e-commerce hosting servers; IBM's e-commerce Start Now program; and IBM's Return on Web Investment consultancy service.

IBM Global Services has been selected as the solution provider for the Starter Pack and Web consultancy offerings, while partners including Aspect and Kaz Computer Services will handle the Start Now program. Server hosting will be provided by Offis and InterMarket.

The Starter Pack is aimed to provide secure online transactions from $60 a month, while the server hosting includes secure transactions plus a catalogue and database from $100 a month.

The Start Now program provides consulting and implementation services from $1334 per month, while the Web consultancy service can deliver a range of e-commerce services.