IBM Announces Expanded e-Business Options At PC Expo

Expanding its effort to deliver secure, scalable solutions that help small and medium businesses build a foundation for e-business, IBM announced a series of new hosted business applications at PC Expo in New York this week.

IBM Global Services plans to combine the leading software applications of three new partners--Great Plains, SalesLogix and Ultimate Software--with IBM hosting services to provide comprehensive, remote management of day-to-day business functions, according to published reports. These offerings will provide customers with real-time access to critical business information via the Internet, significantly reducing IT costs.

"Web hosting services provide our customers with simplified, worry-free computing," says Kathy Dodsworth-Rugani, director of hosted applications for IBM Global Services. "This solution offers reduced cost of ownership, a single point of contact and gives customers the freedom to focus on their everyday business operations."

IBM Global Services and Great Plains have enhanced their existing accounting/hosting solution to include new pricing alternatives and a broader range of hosting configurations, enabling a higher number of concurrent users.

The partnership with SalesLogix allows IBM Global Services to offer small and medium businesses a cost-effective, reliable solution for implementing Customer Relationship Management (CRM) applications, including sales configuration, marketing, commerce and support applications.

IBM Global Services and Ultimate Services have partnered to develop a new application hosting model for Ultimate Software's UltiPro HRMS/Payroll, a client/server human resource application. The solution will provide new and medium businesses with real-time access to all their employee data, Web-access for managers and employees, and business intelligence tools for executive decision-making.

In other news from the PC Expo, IBM announced a comprehensive suite of Business Intelligence Services for SAP R/3. This suite is designed to enhance customers' existing ERP systems by consolidating and analyzing data and providing the deep discovery and analytical processing capabilities to allow them to make more knowledgeable business decisions.

"Businesses today are looking to extend ERP investments and expand their operations into the realm of e-business," says Mogens Roedbro, global offering executive for IBM Business Management Services/ERP. "By integrating ERP with Business Intelligence technology, a company is better equipped to gather and analyze the data necessary to make informed, insightful decisions. The new business intelligence service responds to our customers' demand for improved information and reporting, and IBM's commitment to provide a full portfolio of ERP services around SAP."

--J. Martin