IBM's Hardware Rollout Targets Small Businesses Abroad - InformationWeek

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IBM's Hardware Rollout Targets Small Businesses Abroad

An IBM survey of 1,200 midmarket businesses around the world found that nearly 66% planned to change their business model within the next two years to compete internationally.

IBM on Monday introduced a number of new products and services aimed at small- and midsized businesses in Europe, Asia, and emerging markets.

Among other things, the company announced availability in 23 countries of several products it currently sells to SMBs in North America under its Express Advantage program.

The offerings include the System i 515 and System i 525 Express servers, the TS2340 Tape Drive Express storage system, and the Lotus Complete Messaging Express Starter Pack. IBM also unveiled localized versions of its PartnerWorld Express Advantage Web portal for resellers around the world.

At IBM's PartnerWorld conference in St. Louis, company officials said smaller businesses in international markets are becoming more interested in advanced IT infrastructures to power global sales efforts over the Web. "World flatteners are affecting small businesses as well as large businesses," said Steve Solazzo, IBM's general manager for global SMBs.

An IBM survey of 1,200 midmarket businesses around the world found that nearly 66% planned to change their business model within the next two years to compete internationally.

To accomplish that, many are turning to outsourcing instead of new hardware, said Ken Bisconti, VP for messaging and collaboration in IBM's software group. "In some cases they're even leapfrogging SaaS [software as a service]" and handing off entire business processes, said Bisconti.

To capitalize on that trend, IBM is ramping up the number of so-called business process outsourcing services it offers. For instance, the company recently acquired Equitant -- a provider of outsourced order-to-cash services.

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