IBM Aims System i Servers at Small CompaniesBy Jeffrey Burt | Posted 2007-04-10 Print
IBM uses an integrated software stack and a per-user pricing model to attempt to entice customers away from Windows systems.CAMBRIDGE, Mass.IBM is looking to use its System i platform to get a foothold among the smallest of businesses, a market traditionally dominated by x86 servers running Microsoft Windows applications.
At an event here April 10, IBM officials, along with a number of customers and partners, unveiled two new entry-level System i serversboth of which come with a per-user pricing modeland a new program designed to encourage application providers to create software for the System i platform in a number of particular verticals, including IP telephony, health care and retail.
IBM officials said they hope that their integrated platformthe hardware bundled with such applications as database management, security and job schedulingcombined with the low per-user fee will entice small companies to look at their offerings rather than simply opting for Windows-based solutions.
IBM is targeting small companies that can have as few as five employees and less than $100 million in annual revenue. Despite having a reputation as a vendor that caters primarily to large enterprises, the Armonk, N.Y., company has a thriving midmarket business, said Steve Solazzo, general manager for IBM's SMB (small and midsize business) unit. About 20 percent of IBM's overall revenue comes from that segment, he said.
"IBM and the midmarket is not as much an oxymoron as it may sound," Solazzo said to a small gathering of reporters and analysts.
He added that while they differ in size, small and midsize companies tend to want the same thing: a stable infrastructure that is reliable and can grow with the business.
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