IBM has thrown down the gauntlet to Wintel servers with an integrated System i offering catering to the SMB market.
And, unusually for a US computer vendor, SMB in this case means anything from five users up, at a price entry point of about R50 000.00.
Craig Zieseniss, brand manager: System i at IBM South & Central Africa, explains that SMB customers don't have the time or skills resources to run inhouse IT departments – but need to be just an fast-moving and innovating as bigger companies.
"A lot of companies – and especially in South Africa – are seeing rapid change and growth. And it's a very competitive environment," he says. "They need to be innovative, creative and often change the way they do business."
The System i range is ideally suited to SMBs, he adds, because it is fully integrated with the operating system, database management system and Web tools.
In addition, the platform is relatively secure.
"In the SMB market, if a system isn't integrated someone has got to puzzle it together. Often the SMB doesn't have the skills inhouse and they find the bigger resellers aren't interested in them.
"Because the System i is integrated, it's easier to implement; and it comes complete with IBM support."
IBM yesterday launched two new products in the System i server range: the System i 515, catering for five to 40 users; and the System i 525, accomodating from 30 users upwards.