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IBM launches new industry solutions for SMB market

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IBM has launched Express Advantage in South Africa, a programme aimed at small and medium businesses (SMBs) and combing a portfolio of offerings from across IBM’s software, services and systems groups, with a network of local IBM business partners and customer experience capabilities to create a unified, end-to-end approach to helping customers innovate and grow. 

In recent years, SMB customers have become more discerning about their technology investments, driving an increase in solutions spending. Solutions now account for more than 60% of mid-market technology spending, growing at more than 10%.
IBM Express Advantage was designed to ensure that SMBs have simple solutions to tough problems based on a comprehensive line of offerings that are priced and designed specifically for small and mid-sized companies, with support from IBM’s vast network of business partners. Express Advantage is how IBM brings all the resources of IBM and its business partners together to drive innovation, thereby helping SMB customers to improve efficiency and increase business flexibility, with maximum return on investment.
Additionally, IBM Financing Advantage is available for IBM Express Advantage offerings and solutions. It offers small and mid-sized clients easy access to capital, great rates and easy to understand contracts.
“IBM Express Advantage is the foundation of IBM's SMB market strategy and the catalyst that enables 'innovation made easy' for our customers,” says Gary Carroll, SMB Director, IBM South and Central Africa. “Express Advantage demonstrates IBM’s commitment to providing the offerings, business partner ecosystem and tools that small and medium-sized companies need to solve their toughest business challenges, innovate and grow.”
Express Advantage demonstrates IBM's continued investment in the small and medium business market. Last month, IBM, the Department of Trade and Industry, Business Partners, and International Finance Corporation (IFC), a member of the World Bank Group, announced the Small and Medium Enterprises (SME) Toolkit, which will aid South Africa’s budding entrepreneurs and micro-enterprises with the tools to help them start, finance and grow their businesses.
The Toolkit’s website is http://southafrica.smetoolkit.org, and contains the latest information and communication technologies to help SMBs in emerging markets learn and implement sustainable business management practices.
In addition, September saw the launch of the IBM Innovation Makeover Challenge, inviting SMBs to enter a competition to win R350 000 of IBM business and IT expertise, simply by sharing their business challenges.