IBM Plan Helps Small Biz

Wednesday Jun 30th 2004 by Colin C. Haley
Share:

SMBs could reap rewards from IBM's plan to expand its partner program.

IBM plans to expand its partner program to help independent software vendors (ISVs) build applications specifically for the public sector and the insurance industry. Which means that small businesses serving clients in those industries stand to benefit by having an improved range of products and services to offer their customers.

"These two industries are great for ISVs," said Scott Hebner, vice president of marketing and strategy. "In government and insurance, the needs become very localized." For example, Massachusetts tax law is different from Texas tax law, so no software company can go to market with one-size-fits-all applications.

Likewise, insurance providers have different rules and requirements and must continually upgrade their technology to adhere to new regulations, such as HIPAA.

Outlook on IT Spending
State and local agencies will spend about $46 billion on IT in 2004, according to public-sector consultant, Input. The federal government, which is looking to improve the security and interoperability of its systems, will spend about $70 billion.

Meanwhile, the research firm Celent estimates that IT spending in the U.S. insurance industry will exceed $20 billion this year.

Big Blue also introduced new technical offerings to help ISVs participating in the PartnerWorld Industry Networks speed development and ensure interoperability with IBM middleware, including WebSphere Application Server, WebSphere Studio Application Developer, WebSphere Portal and DB2 Universal Database. ISV partner offerings also run on IBM hardware, including the IBM iSeries, xSeries, and HTTP Server.

IBM already provides ISV resources for the banking, financial markets, health care, life sciences, retail and telecommunications industries. And the company is working on establishing relationships with more.

"We will get anywhere from 12 to 16 industries around the end of the year," Hebner said, adding that the automotive, electronics, education, transportation and petroleum sectors appear likely candidates.

In all, more than 600 ISVs in 43 countries are participating in the program. IBM will spend $1 billion on ISV programs this year.

The PartnerWorld Industry Networks initiative is only one move by IBM to expand its reach. It is also strengthening ties with venture capital firms and their portfolio companies to increase partnership opportunities.

Adapted from internetnews.com.

Do you have a comment or question about this article or other small business topics in general? Speak out in the SmallBusinessComputing.com Forums. Join the discussion today!
Share:
Home
Mobile Site | Full Site
Copyright 2017 © QuinStreet Inc. All Rights Reserved