IBM Launches Portal For Medium Business Customers

Website Features Tools And Technologies Improving Solutions Shopping Experience

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WHITE PLAINS, NY - 26 Apr 2002: IBM today, as part of its commitment to serving customers of all sizes, officially unveiled a new Web destination for "medium-sized" business customers ( providing sharper focus on the unique needs of this important and growing customer set.

IBM and the IT industry consider companies with 100 to 1,000 employees a medium-sized business. Market research shows that medium-sized business will account for approximately $150 billion of information technology (IT) spending globally this year. Often undistinguished from small business customers, medium-sized customers have more complex and challenging technology needs.

Medium business customers are now focusing their IT budgets on projects with high value and proven return-on-investment. This is spurring the market for proven capabilities delivered via a combination of technologies like hardware and software to create an automated version of a business process, called a solution. IBM research shows that 60 percent of IT spending by medium-sized business will be on solutions and services.

The new IBM Medium Business Center features information and tools to better focus the research and consideration phase of a customer's e-business shopping experience. In fact, IBM research also shows that customers spend half the time they invest in a solutions engagement researching and qualifying the vendor and solution that will meet their needs.

IBM's Medium Business Center provides customers the ability to find IT solutions and search for solutions based on business problems or industry needs. Once a potential solution is identified customers then can easily locate an IBM Business Partner who can help them implement and support the solution.

IBM has also added technologies to the marketplace that connect the Medium Business Center to its worldwide telesales organization via "Call Me" and "Text Chat" options. These features allow customers to reach knowledgeable telesales representatives who understand the unique needs of medium-size businesses.

"Medium-sized customers have told us they are looking for e-business solutions which address the unique needs of their business," said Patrick O'Donnell, vice president of Small and Medium Business Sales for "The new Medium Business Center not only provides access to dozens of solutions, it gives customers the power to streamline the research phase of their shopping experience allowing them to execute and implement faster."

The IBM Medium Business Center is first being rolled out in the Americas, which includes the United States, Canada and Latin America, with plans for other geographies to enhance their current SMB sites with medium business content.

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