IBM Prepares Small Businesses for IT Growth

IBM has announced plans to help the small business market better leverage information technology and grow through e-business. This IBM Small Business program is backed by a $100 million marketing campaign and includes a customized Web link, hardware and software bundles, e-business tools, and technology service and support programs.

To complement its efforts, IBM also plans to actively recruit Business Partners that support smaller businesses -- defined as those with fewer than 100 employees.

As part of the Small Business program, IBM will make available CustomConnections, a productivity tool that allows small businesses to manage and gain access to Internet resources they need to conduct e-business.

"With today's announcement, IBM is offering the most extensive program of end-to-end solutions for small businesses than any other company in the world," says Peter Rowley, general manager of IBM Global Small Business. "With support including IBM's small business Web site and toll-free phone number, our program provides easy access to IBM's diverse products, services and solutions, as well as online consulting and education programs."

Small Business Technology Analyst Joseph Villarosa, says of the program, "IBM's announcement is significant because it represents a complete e-business solution for small businesses. In doing so, it provides a single point of contact for a number of complementary technological and business solutions that, if adopted, help to place small business on a level playing field with larger enterprises."

--L. Greenemeier