IBM today expanded on its plans to unify three different server platforms and position them as solutions for electronic business, and small to medium sized enterprises.
At a press conference in New York, IBM confirmed the move that it outlined before Christmas, to bring together the PC, RS/6000 and AS/400 server lines under one marketing and sales banner. ?Three of our server brands are joining together today underneath the same umbrella,? it said.
Michael Coleman, general manager for solutions at IBM worldwide, said: ?IBM has come together to focus on the small to medium enterprise as a business. From our perspective, this counts organisations with 1,000 employees or less.?
Coleman said: ?SMEs account for about 80 per cent of the world?s workforce. Forty per cent of IT spending is from this customer set. Sixty per cent of Internet spending comes from this customer set. Over the last 16 months, when we set up a specific group aiming at this market, we?ve made some progress.?
The merger of the three product lines was announced by Bill Smith, vice president for midrange systems in north America.
He said: ?There are only two things I?d like you to take away from this. This is not a product announcement, it?s a customer announcement, and the second thing is IBM?s commitment to that customer set.?
He then announced three products. First is a Netfinity PC unit, costing $2,400 for a twin Pentium platform with 32Mbytes of memory, and 512Kbytes of level two cache.
The AS/400 member of the lineup is the Model I70, for which he gave no price but which, he said, could support up to 1,000 Lotus Domino clients.
The last member of the SME lineup is the RS/6000 Desk60 model. That, depending on specification, will cost ?below $20,000? he said, but includes a 350MHz Power PC processor.
Both officials declined to say how the joint SME announcement will affect its existing channel. Nor did they say whether saleforces across the board would be expected to support the products or who the business partners would be.
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