New i5s Added to IBM’s Express Advantage Deal
May 7, 2007 Timothy Prickett Morgan
While most of the midrange was focused on what was happening at the COMMON i5/OS and OS/400 user group meeting last week, IBM was also hosting its annual PartnerWorld business partner event, which was in St Louis this time around. At that show, IBM announced that the new user-priced i5 515 and 525 servers have been added to its Express Advantage marketing program.
The Express Advantage program was created for North American resellers and business partners last year, and was expanded to 23 additional countries last week. Express Advantage is how IBM takes on the small and medium business market, which it absolutely needs business partners to chase since its own direct sales force is way too small to chase millions of potential customers. With the Express Advantage offerings, IBM puts together specific bundles of hardware and software that are aimed at solving specific problems that SMB customers face, and then works through the reseller channel to get these standardized offerings–which usually also have bundled and therefore lower pricing–to customers. The Express Advantage offerings are easier for IBM to ship, easier for partners to sell, and easier for customers to consume.
“IBM Express Advantage is the foundation of IBM’s mid-market strategy and the catalyst that enables ‘innovation made easy’ for our customers,” explains Surjit Chana, vice president of marketing for the global small and medium business unit at IBM. “This significant expansion of Express Advantage to 23 additional countries demonstrates our company-wide commitment to providing the offerings, business partner ecosystem and tools that mid-sized companies need to solve their toughest business challenges, innovate and grow.”
The Express configurations of the i5 515 and 525 servers are now available through the Express Advantage program, as is the new TS2340 LTO4 tape drive. Two software bundles–the Lotus Complete Messaging Express Starter Pack and the Lotus Complete Collaboration Express Starter Pack–were also added to the list. The former software takes Lotus Domino Express and Sametime and packages it up in 10-user packs, while the latter includes bundles of all of the core Lotus products and supports e-mail, calendaring and scheduling, document libraries, blogs, VOIP, instant messaging, point-to-point video and Web conferencing as well as applications built to run atop Domino.