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IBM Solutions Help Midmarket Companies Build a More Dynamic Infrastructure and Improve Collaboration


Focus on efficiency, customer service and reliability for midsize companies

ARMONK, N.Y. and MIAMI - IBM today announced a broad portfolio of offerings designed to help midsize companies tap into the power of today’s interconnected, instrumented and increasingly intelligent world. Leading the way are the new BladeCenter Express servers incorporating the latest IBM POWER6 microprocessors, the new IBM Comprehensive Data Protection Solution, and LotusLive Meetings, the newest addition to the LotusLive family of offerings.

IBM is strengthening its long-standing commitment to the midmarket with solutions specifically designed for midsize businesses that are making the promise of a smarter planet a reality for this critically important market. In particular, these latest offerings address the growing need for dynamic infrastructure, making more intelligent business decisions, energy efficiency and solutions for smarter work. Through its Express Advantage strategy, IBM continues to apply its unparalleled combination of research capabilities, industry skills, technology innovation and global business partner ecosystem to help midmarket companies succeed in today’s environment.

“The products and solutions IBM has introduced in the last month will help our midsize clients make better business decisions, work smarter, become greener and leaner, and create an easy to manage information technology backbone,” said Marc Dupaquier, general manager, IBM Global Midmarket. “Midsize businesses have the DNA to quickly recognize and seize new opportunities and very often are on the leading edge of building innovative smarter planet solutions.”

Building a smarter midmarket with Dynamic Infrastructure

IBM’s strategy for a dynamic infrastructure offers a new model to help midsize organizations address rising cost pressures and higher service expectations while laying the foundation for increased productivity and value creation.

Vantage Deluxe World Travel, a leading tour operator offering high-quality, affordable travel programs for travelers in the mature adult market, is benefiting from a dynamic infrastructure. To improve delivery of travel services, Vantage needed to streamline its outdated ordering process, orchestrating a massive set of business rules for handling online travel bookings that includes a complex set of travel options and alternatives. Vantage engaged IBM to implement an online commerce solution using IBM WebSphere Commerce Express software on an IBM System x3455 platform. This system efficiently manages high-volume customer travel requests in a personalized manner, leading to an improved customer experience. As a result, the company has seen a tremendous return on investment, including an 80% increase in call center agent productivity.

“As our business grew, it was important to implement a new infrastructure that would save time and money by improving the service in our call centers while improving our customers’ satisfaction,” said Peter Groustra, director of Information Technology for Vantage Deluxe World Travel. “IBM enabled us to streamline our order processing system and develop a strong online presence to better reach our customer base.”

New solutions and offerings to enable a dynamic infrastructure include:

The BladeCenter JS23 Express and JS43 Express now offer greater scalability and IBM’s newest POWER6 processor technology and the ability to run AIX®, IBM i, and the Linux® operating systems simultaneously. This helps to deliver superior business and IT services with agility and speed. In addition, the BladeCenter J23 Express and J43 Express offer midsize companies a secure, resilient and dynamic infrastructure solution that helps drive cost down, reduces risk, improves energy efficiency and enhances flexibility. The new BladeCenter offerings are also ideal for infrastructure consolidation, virtualization, and demanding applications that require scalable performance and high memory capacity.(1)

The IBM Comprehensive Data Protection Solution eliminates the need to shut down mission critical applications for nightly backups, and provides immediate recovery following almost any type of data loss. The components include Tivoli Storage Manager FastBack, DS3000 Express/DS4000 Express/DS5000 series disk Systems and System x 3550 server, supported by IBM Services and Financing options. The solution helps to manage risk, provides full recoverability should files be compromised, increases productivity by eliminating downtime during recovery, while reducing storage requirements and increasing flexibility to manage data.

For example, a midsize retailer, with a distributed IT environment, needs to ensure that critical applications are adequately protected and can be recovered quickly in the event of a failure. An IBM Business Partner implements the Comprehensive Data Protection Solution to provide automated, continuous protection that reduces data loss risk and downtime by providing near-instant recovery of data, from single files to entire volumes, and remain compliant with data retention regulations.

“Many companies don’t realize how important it is to back up crucial data until after they suffer a disaster and lose everything,” said Anthony Bongiovanni, president of MicroStrategies. “There are many cases of midsize companies simply not surviving a catastrophic data loss. This new solution will allow people to sleep well at night knowing that their data and business are protected.”

To maximize new storage technology investments, organizations need efficient data migration solutions that help limit the risk of data corruption or loss, and business disruption. IBM Migration Services for open systems attached to System Storage disk systems provides professional services performed by technical specialists to plan and manage a non-disruptive migration of data, reducing the need for skilled in-house resources and project management expertise, and provides proven methods and tools to support an efficient and safe data migration.

IBM Remote Managed Services - Express Remote Managed Infrastructure Services(2) (ERMIS) is a suite of modular service components that can help reduce IT costs by more than 20 percent. ERMIS provides remote monitoring, reporting and management capabilities across a customer’s IT infrastructure. The new release extends this support to Unified Communications devices and Linux server management. It provides near real-time reports, automated notifications and alerts to enhance IT management. The offering enhances IT service availability and performance with around-the-clock, proactive monitoring of networks, servers, applications, application infrastructure and unified communication.

IBM’s Internet Security Systems (ISS) has added the Proventia Web application security capability that helps protect applications, the largest point of vulnerability, from malware and attacks. This new capability is included at no additional cost to several Express offerings including the Express Multi-Function Security Bundle, the Express Managed Multi-Function Security Bundle and the Express Managed Protection Services for Server. The Proventia Web Application security capability helps reduce security costs for Express Managed Multi-Function Security Bundle users by as much as 55 percent. Express Multi-Function Security Bundle users will save an average of 15 to 20 times their investment.

Additional solutions for a smarter midmarket

IBM announced several additional offerings and industry solutions focused on helping midsize companies drive greater efficiencies, work smarter and take action now on energy and the environment.

IBM recently introduced the LotusLive family of offerings, a new integrated social networking and collaboration cloud service designed for businesses of all sizes. This comprehensive cloud service combines social networking, file-sharing, instant messaging, and mail among other things enabling midmarket companies to significantly cut their travel budgets by using online collaboration. Leading the way is LotusLive Meetings, a full-featured online meeting service used by midsize companies worldwide. LotusLive Meetings enables companies to quickly and easily share information, give presentations, demonstrate software and work collaboratively with one person or up to a thousand. In addition LotusLive Meetings offers midsize businesses an affordable solution to enhance team productivity, shorten sales cycles and manage travel costs for greater efficiency.

The IBM Medical Devices Solution for Oracle Accelerate(3) is a full-function enterprise resource planning and customer relationship management solution for the Medical Devices Industry, using Oracle E-Business Suite and Oracle Business Accelerators. The solution, which can be customized to specific business requirements, creates a regulatory-compliant, growth-oriented platform that can expand to meet business needs and changes. In addition, it helps increase customer satisfaction, improve service levels, and increase revenue while maintaining compliance with FDA regulations.

The IBM Express Retail Solution, a qualified SAP Business All-in-one Solution(4) supports end-to-end retailer requirements including demand management and planning, store operations, merchandise management and back office for finance for midsize retailers. IBM’s deep retail industry knowledge combined with this new Express Retail solution allows a midsize retailer to implement an enterprise application suite with full functionality at an affordable price point. The solution also enables midsize retailers to reduce inventory and transportation costs, shorten process lead times, and improve vendor performance.

New Programs and Incentives for Business Partners

IBM is offering a new “Selling to the CFO” training program to enable IBM Business Partners to more effectively engage the CFO in the sales conversation. Financial selling skills can help Business Partners increase their awareness of the challenges facing today’s CFO and better articulate the business value and ROI of a smarter infrastructure. The program includes training on assessing client value drivers and buying decision criteria, financing options and core financial metrics such as cash flow, balance sheets and income statements.

IBM is offering Business Partners ways to enhance their earnings and profit potential in the midmarket through software incentives. This SWG Midmarket Business Partner Incentive allows Business Partners who sell IBM software to midmarket customers to be eligible for increases up to five percent in both the existing midmarket rebate and the Value Advantage Plus rebate -- an overall improvement of up to 10 percent in available rewards. This uplift reflects an overall rebalancing of focus and increased IBM Software Group investment toward the high growth midmarket segment.

IBM Global Financing

While market and credit conditions are evolving, IBM Global Financing continues to lend to qualified customers. IBM Financing Advantage offers a comprehensive portfolio of financing solutions to help address the requirements of midsize businesses to fund their IT agendas, maximize working capital, recover technology value and manage risk.


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