IBM to Provide e-Business Solutions for Small Businesses

IBM is continuing its focus on e-business for small companies with the recent announcement that it will acquire Whistle Communications Inc. (Foster City, Calif.). Through this acquisition, IBM expects to offer complete e-business solutions for companies with less than 100 employees.

IBM will combine its range of applications, services and financial options with Whistle's InterJet "thin server" to provide this cost-effective e-business solution for small companies. Through a single Internet connection, Whistle's thin client servers allow small businesses to cost-effectively set up a complete set of Internet services for their employees, including Web access and e-mail services.

According to IBM, the small to medium business segment is growing at about 15 percent a year, with Internet adoption expected to double by the year 2001. "The small business segment is growing more quickly than any other information technology industry," says Peter Rowley, general manager of IBM's global small business unit. "This acquisition will dramatically improve the ability of small companies to easily and inexpensively exploit the Internet."

This new solution will be available to small businesses around the world. It can be managed remotely using a Web browser and requires no significant changes to existing IT or telecommunications systems.

--by J. Martin