IBM UK has established a business development team within its small to luring SMEs. and medium business group (SMB), in the hope of capturing a substantial share of the SME market.
The unit has been established to engender a closer level of co-operation between IBM and its indirect channel.
IBM intends to push the entire range of its product business - its largest single business unit - through the channel. It includes mainframes for the medium enterprise, plus mid-range server products which include AS/400, RS/6000, PC servers and open storage. It will also include electronic commerce and software.
The company hopes to persuade distributors and resellers to take on the additional product lines in exchange for more marketing funds, joint campaigns, lead generation, market research and consultancy.
'IBM's SME strategy is to find new business with resellers,' said Graeme Verroken, business development manager of the SMB unit.
Tony Beddows, managing director of reseller Cranborn, welcomed the initiative.
'IBM has been reactive in the past. It had the range but had always been slow to market. With the channel dedicated to these ranges, things will change,' he said.
Paul Smith, commercial director at Northamber, said: 'Last year, IBM realised the SME market was larger than the corporate market, but had left the channel to its own devices in this area. SME dealers have had problems - no succinct marketing strategies, no funding for their strategies and no training. IBM can now share its market research to remedy that.'
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