IBM is to reorganise its software business early next January to provide vertically focused, industry-specific software packages.
It will also court independent software vendors to provide interoperability with its software products.
IBM Software's 13,000 direct sales and support staff, as well as its 20,000 software engineers, will be briefed on the change in January.
IBM's software portfolio - including brands such as Tivoli, Websphere, DB2, Lotus and Rational - will be arranged into targeted packages aimed at retail, manufacturing and financial services, the company confirmed.
The move is designed to boost the software business that has remained static, save for for its acquisition of multiple software companies, for the past four years. IBM sees the move as being as significant as its exit from the software applications market in 1998.
Big Blue is also hoping to make better use of the consulting capabilities it acquired in buying PricewaterhouseCoopers last year.
IBM outlined the vertical realignment of its sales force to analysts last week. But Ian Wesley, director at Ovum Evaluate, dismissed the news as involving "no massive changes".
"I'm sure it's all a storm in teacup," he said.
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