IBM has joined forces with business software house JD Edwards to offer European small to medium enterprises (SMEs) the same fixed price outsourcing bundle that they offer in the US.
The manufacturer has signed up JD Edwards as the first package supplier for its Network Application Services (NAS) scheme, and expects others, including SAP and Baan, to follow suit.
The NAS scheme looks after a particular application on behalf of small to medium businesses.
The two companies have nine joint customers, including general contractors, E Kent Halvason.
Kay Clemmensson, marketing manager for business management services at IBM, said: 'This scheme is expected to reach Europe, but we need to establish the setup there. We need to take on partners and set up a computer centre with the correct IT infrastructure.'
She added: 'SMEs are a growth market and many of them want to improve their business. In many cases, they need to change their business processes to fit in with the package. If they can do that without an IT department, it's an attractive proposition.'
Trevor Saloman, marketing director at JD Edwards, said he expected the fixed per-user, per-month charges associated with the scheme to be attractive to organisations dealing with the millennium bug and European Monetary Union (EMU).
'The industry hadn't realised until now to what extent the skills shortage has hit the industry.
'While most of the bigger boys have fixed or are on the way to fixing the year 2000 problem, SMEs have left it late and the resources may not be there,' he commented.
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