IBM has revealed plans to reorganise its entire software business at the beginning of 2004 to provide vertically focused industry-specific packages.
By using processes specific to certain industries as a strategic hub, the software giant plans to offer middleware packages to 12 industries, including banking, automotive, retail, manufacturing, government and healthcare.
This strategic shift will also involve reorganising its route to market and result in changes to its development, ISV and sales and marketing programmes.
Big Blue also hopes to make better use of the consulting capabilities it acquired when it bought PricewaterhouseCoopers last year.
Gary Barnett, research director at analyst Ovum, said: "[IBM's decision] is not particularly surprising or radical as professional services firms like EDS and Accenture have whole divisions based on the vertical sector approach.
"It also specs well onto their professional services offerings, [as] PwC was very verticalised in approach."
Although more details will be available in January, one example of the new packaged offerings is a claim processing solution for the insurance industry.
WebSphere will process transactions, DB2 Information Integrator will integrate multiple database claims data, and Lotus Notes will help agents automatically process claims and appraisal forms.
"It should make IBM easier to deal with; if you're in retail you should be able to deal with retail specialists," said Barnett.
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