IBM Peppers Mid-Market with New Solutions

Taps internal research to configure targeted offerings

October 28, 2009

D.H. Kass

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IBM Corp. has added an array of new solutions to its portfolio for mid-sized companies, positioning them as useful and important for IT infrastructures by helping businesses to cut costs, manage risk and improve service.

Company officials said that the solutions, offered as readily configurable, or so-called soft bundles, map to its Dynamic Infrastructure initiative and have been specifically architected to address issues critical to mid-sized businesses.

The offerings are easy for mid-sized businesses to install and maintain, priced at levels conducive to rapid return on investment, and structured to help channel partners solve their customers’ problems, according to Ed Abrams, IBM vice president of marketing, Express Advantage and Business Solutions.

IBM’s docket of mid-market solutions now includes an SaaS-based application called Rational AppScan OnDemand, which the vendor said reduces the risk of conducting business online by enabling customers to isolate and rank in importance Web application security and compliance risks.

In addition, IBM’s appliance-based Tivoli Foundations Application Manager and Tivoli Foundations Service Manager enable customers to monitor the performance of their IT infrastructure, including improving application availability, streamlining service requests and providing automated help desk assistance.

The vendor also is offering an Saas-based Enhanced Technical Support Gateway service to help companies with limited budget for IT maintenance avoid critical problems and downtime in an IBM Power Systems environment. It will be rolled out this coming January in Japan and two months later in North America.

“We know from our market intelligence work that these solution areas represent the key pain points and needs of the mid-market,” Abrams said.

Vendor uses research from mid-sized companies

In constructing solution bundles for the mid-market companies, an assortment of which IBM also introduced in July, the vendor has relied heavily on results from its recent study of 2,500 CIOs worldwide, particularly data that suggested the significant impact of changing business models on decision-making and strategy.

The vendor contends that the overwhelming majority of IT infrastructures at all levels of business are outmoded, slow, inefficient and incapable of handling increased workloads. In bringing to market solution sets for mid-sized companies, IBM repeatedly has stressed its point that it has examined issues central to mid-market businesses and responded accordingly.

Abrams said that IBM’s collection of “easily integrate-able” offerings enables partners to “spend less time trying to configure components and more time solving their customers’ business problems.”

To assist partners, IBM has stepped up its demand generation activities around the solutions, he said.

“We know from our market intelligence work that these solution areas represent the key pain points and needs of the mid-market,” Abrams said. “By creating demand around these offerings and passing the leads to our partners we help them to capture that opportunity.”

Also included in the vendor’s latest product offerings for the mid-market are storage and server solutions. The IBM System Storage DS3950 Express is intended for companies that want to reduce their storage total cost of acquisition and improve performance in mixed workload environments. It will be available in early December.

Additionally, IBM has enhanced its System Storage N3300 and N3600 Express, upping capacity and performance.

It also has upgraded the x3200 and x3250 M3 Express servers, positioning them as cost effective, efficient and well-suited for dynamic IT environments. The servers will be available at the end of October.

“IBM’s newest mid-market offerings for dynamic infrastructure position organizations to do more with less, manage and mitigate risk, and take advantage of flexible delivery choices like cloud computing,” said Marc Dupaquier, IBM general manager, global mid-market.

TAGS: security,IBM,IT infrastructure,channel partner,mid-market

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