IBM expands software line for small and mid-sized businesses

IBM has announced new software and resources to help mid-sized customers more effectively manage the quality of their software and network infrastructures, just like their counterparts in large enterprises. The new software underscores IBM's expanded focus on providing small and mid-sized businesses with the solutions necessary to remain competitive in the market.

Typically, IT departments in small and mid-sized businesses lack resources or a formalized IT department to support their operations. These businesses also face many of the same basic challenges as large enterprises, and as their businesses grow their reliance on technology increases. Whether it's creating a scalable and flexible infrastructure that manages and monitors IT resources and tasks, securing data, effectively evolving their application assets and meeting regulatory compliance regulations, IT is critical to supporting the client's needs. Software delivery teams are also under pressure to accelerate the pace at which they conduct software upgrades and releases.

IBM Rational Build Forge Express Edition represents the first IBM software delivery technology that has been specifically developed, priced and marketed to meet the IBM Express criteria for small and mid-sized businesses. The introduction of IBM Rational Build Forge Express Edition, in conjunction with IBM's Rational software delivery platform, provides a software delivery process management solution that enables small and mid-sized companies to standardize and automate end-to-end software release processes and better govern compliance implementation.

IBM has also announced that its Tivoli Network Manager IP Entry Edition is a new network management product that provides customers with accurate, real-time visibility of their network infrastructures. Developed and priced for mid-market businesses and service providers, IBM Tivoli Network Manager IP Entry Edition helps organizations visualize and understand the layout of networks in their environment, allowing them to scale and grow as market demands dictate.

Small and mid-sized businesses are examining their IT investments to help them compete and be successful in today's global market. Access Markets International (AMI) Partners forecasts the worldwide IT spending by small and mid-sized businesses will grow by 10% in 2007, fueled by continued high double digit growth in Brazil, Russia, India and China. IBM is capitalizing on this growth and investment with a network of business partners, dedicated offerings and customer tools developed specifically for this market.

"A recent IBM survey of 1,200 mid-market companies revealed that two-thirds will make more than one change to their business model over the next 24 months," said Jeff Lechleiter, vice president, Small and Mid-Sized Business Software Sales, IBM. "Together, with our global team of experienced business partners, IBM is delivering unmatched technology and expertise to help mid-sized businesses succeed."

"Encode has experienced great success working with IBM as a global business partner," said Jim Skidmore, director of sales, Encode Inc. "Our success could not have been duplicated working with any other software maker in the industry."

Expanded IBM portfolio helps mid-sized businesses deliver quality software

IBM's software portfolio helps organizations deal with customizing and deploying packaged applications, managing outsourced development, maintaining deployed applications on various platforms and modernizing existing systems. IBM also offers growing mid-sized businesses an entry point to deploying enterprise-strength software in a modular and cost-effective way. The new software will ensure that just the right amount of process and technology is used so that companies can focus more on their business. In addition to developing new offerings, IBM has invested acquiring top technologies to help build solutions for growing mid-sized organizations.

IBM Rational Build Forge Express Edition is the first IBM Express offering to help IT managers and software engineers inside small and mid-sized businesses gain control of their software development and delivery processes. This new software helps standardize and automate repetitive tasks, manage compliance mandates, and foster information-sharing. The result is improved overall software release efficiency, quality, and lower project costs.

When IBM acquired BuildForge, Inc. in 2006, its signature large-enterprise offering was only available through resellers and direct sales. The new IBM Rational Build Forge Express Edition features an easy installation wizard, Web access for easy deployment, and for the first time will be sold through IBM's web site. IBM Rational Build Forge Express Edition lists at $49,000 per server, and will be available on October 23, 2007.

Additional new IBM resources and software available for mid-sized businesses include:

  • New customer sitelets [www.ibm.com/tivoli/smb and www.ibm.com/rational/smb] with easy access points for customers to address challenges in managing their IT infrastructure. These sites also host a live-chat feature that quickly connects clients to IBM reps or local solution providers based on their needs.

  • Watchfire AppScan and Watchfire WebXM -- acquired by IBM in July 2007, helps small businesses with managing security and compliance by identifying vulnerabilities to mitigate risks associated with data breaches and reducing costs by automating manual processes. Watchfire AppScan is also sold via the software as a service model for companies that want to take advantages of Watchfire's security expertise and outsource application security testing.

  • IBM Maximo software -- from IBM's acquisition of MRO, the powerful Maximo software helps organizations increase productivity, optimize asset performance and service levels, reduce costs and better enable asset related sourcing and procurement across the entire spectrum of strategic assets.

  • IBM Rational Team Concert, Beta 1 -- the first offering developed on the Jazz technology platform, IBM Rational Team Concert is a collaborative portal designed to improve team productivity by enabling real-time collaboration across a software delivery team optimized to enable smaller, more agile teams which are prominent in mid-sized businesses.

  • IBM Rational Performance Tester 7.01 and IBM Rational Functional Tester 7.01 -- new software to help mid-sized companies test the scalability, reliability and quality of applications before they are released into production. Also available are Performance Tester and Functional Tester Extensions to improve success of software deployments using leading packaged applications.

  • IBM Tivoli Consul Insight Manager -- from IBM's recent acquisition of Consul, this software offers inclusive "auditor-in-a-box" capabilities that allows a company to test IT systems compliance from a single dashboard console.

    For more information on how IBM software helps engineers in small and mid-sized businesses, visit http://www.ibm.com/expressadvantage/.

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