IBM will upgrade its SMB Express portfolio this week, rolling out a slew of managed services and targeted vertical solutions for smaller customers.
IBM said the move is designed to give smaller businesses access to the sorts of capabilities currently deployed in enterprise accounts.
“The whole goal is to provide enterprise capabilities but without the complexities and at a price and function that [SMB] accounts] can consume,” said Elaine Case, IBM’s director of SMB marketing.
In addition, Case said IBM Business Partners will now be the point people for the new Express services. “All of the leads IBM generates [for the new Express solutions] go to Business Partners,” she said.
The new Express offerings include an RFID retail solution, a product life-cycle management solution for manufacturers, a medical imaging storage solution for health care, supply chain diagnostics, and POS solutions.
Most of the offerings, including the new Express RFID services, are managed services designed to be sold to SMB accounts by IBM Business Partners, Case said. The RFID solution converts existing bar codes to RFID.
Case said IBM’s managed services approach gives smaller customers affordable access to the latest technologies, enabling them to avoid huge infrastructure investments.
Vince DeRose, president of Peak Resources, an IBM Premier Business Partner in Denver, said his company is enthusiastic about the Express managed services offerings. “The [managed services] are very well priced, and they are modular,” DeRose said. “We sell Express managed services for e-mail, for example, and we’ve had a lot of success with that. I can take that to a lot of different types of customers, from a big company to a law firm.”
DeRose said he’s particularly excited about the RFID managed services offering because he already sells many RFID printer products. “That will be a good offering because a lot of smaller companies are suppliers to big companies that require RFID. This will give them the ability to get into that space without a huge investment,” he said.