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IBM Introduces New Solutions, Services for Mid-Sized Businesses

Industry and Infrastructure Offerings Focus on Security, Business Performance and Ease of Use -- Designed and Priced for Mid-Market, Offered by Business Partners

ARMONK, N.Y. - 11 Oct 2005: IBM today announced new IBM Express Portfolio offerings designed to help mid-sized businesses with security, supply chain management, backup and recovery, enterprise resource planning and other critical applications. In response to growing mid-market demand for industry-specific solutions, most of the 22 new offerings address specific client needs in the retail, health care, industrial and life sciences industries.

New industry solutions include medical imaging storage for health care, an RFID solution for retailers, a Product Lifecycle Management solution for manufacturers, and a supply chain diagnostic solution for the industrial sector. Among the new IBM Express Portfolio infrastructure offerings are four System p5(TM) servers that bring enterprise-class capabilities to mid-sized business at new levels of affordability.

These latest offerings demonstrate IBM's continued investment in the small and medium business market and accelerate the evolution of its SMB roadmap to encompass more high-value business and infrastructure solutions. The new offerings combine the strength of IBM technology offerings, business insight, services capabilities and simple financing options to help small and medium businesses improve performance and compete on a global scale. With 10% growth in the first half of 2005, IBM continues to expand its presence in the $360 billion small and medium business market.

"Working together with our channel partners, we continue to develop and deploy solutions that help clients grow and become on demand businesses," said Steve Solazzo, general manager, IBM Global Small and Medium Business. "The combination of IBM and our Business Partners is a powerful 'one plus one equals three' value proposition for our clients."

IBM Business Partners generate approximately half of IBM's revenue in the mid-market and are a critical channel that IBM continues to support with its IBM Small and Medium Business Advantage (SMBA) initiative. This initiative aggregates SMB-centric PartnerWorld resources including IBM offerings, world class technical support, marketing and sales resources, teaming tools, education and incentives to help IBM Business Partners improve profitability and grow market share.

One of the recent additions to SMBA is the Built on IBM Express Portfolio initiative. Introduced in April of this year, Built on IBM Express Portfolio offers IBM Business Partners an emblem to distinguish their solution as built on IBM offerings designed specifically for mid-sized businesses. These solutions contain at least one offering from the IBM Express Portfolio and have been successfully implemented in a mid-sized customer environment. Qualified IBM Business Partners who utilize the emblem can benefit from IBM's investment in demand generation and advertising to increase awareness of the IBM Express portfolio. To date, over 150 Built on IBM Express Portfolio solutions have been approved by IBM.

"IBM Business Partners are our primary route to market for the small and medium business market," said Donn Atkins, general manager, IBM Global Business Partners. "As IBM brings higher value solutions and services to the midmarket, our partners will profit more by providing sales, technology and services around these offerings. We will enable partners to market the expanding IBM Express Portfolio with new tools and insights on SMBA in addition to existing partner resources that have experienced a usage growth rate of 65% this year. Through targeted programs such as the Built on IBM Express Portfolio, we will continue to focus on IBM Business Partner profitability in the mid-market and further refinements to the IBM Express Portfolio."

New resources for IBM Business Partners to formulate infrastructure solutions for mid-market customers include the Technology Assessment Tool, the Seller Action Playbook, and SMB Infrastructure Insights. The Technology Assessment Tool helps partners prescribe the right blend of technologies to create On Demand infrastructures. IBM Business Partners can use the Seller Action Playbook to guide customers through real business scenarios. SMB Infrastructure Insights helps partners target business resiliency and security opportunities to eliminate spam, viruses and spyware with market intelligence and sales and marketing aids.

"With the IBM Express and Built on IBM Express programs, customers can now benefit in being able to have affordable, easier to use, easier to manage solutions that will bring them faster ROI. IBM Business Partners can benefit by expanding and opening new markets within SMB, expanding their reach and relevancy to the mid-market client set, and increasing their own profits with higher volume, repeatable solutions," Biff L. Myre, global director, Cooperative and Territory Marketing at Lakeview Technology.

Contact(s) information

Mike Azzi
IBM Media Relations
(914) 766-4164
azzi@us.ibm.com

Kathleen McGraw
IBM Media Relations
(646) 598-6315
kmcgraw@us.ibm.com

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