IBM and business software house JD Edwards are currently evaluating whether to offer European small and medium enterprises the same fixed-price outsourcing bundle that they offer in the US.
IBM has signed up JD Edwards as the first package supplier for its Network Application Services scheme, which looks after an application on behalf of an SME, but expects others such as SAP and Baan to follow suit over time. The two currently have nine joint customers, including general contractors, E Kent Halvason.
Kay Clemmensson, IBM?s marketing manager for Business Management Services, said: ?This is expected to reach Europe, but we need to establish the set-up there. We need to take on partners and set up a computer centre with the correct IT infrastructure.?
He continued: ?SMEs are a growth market and many want to improve their business. In many cases, they need to change their business processes to fit in with the package and if they can do that without an IT department, it?s an attractive proposition.?
But Trevor Saloman, marketing director at JD Edwards, said he expected the fixed price, per user, per month charges associated with the scheme to be particularly attractive to those organisations having to deal with the millennium bug and European Monetary Union (EMU).
?The industry hadn?t realised up till now to what extent the skills shortage has hit the industry. While most of the bigger boys have fixed or are on the way to fixing the Year 2000 problem, it?s been deemed that the SMEs have left it very late and the resources may not be there,? he explained.
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