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By | John Oates 17th May 2006 15:02

Big Blue claims channel targets

Aims channel at small biz, and HP

IBM says it is making good progress in recruiting new resellers to its revamped channel programme and will soon be adding services to its hardware offerings.

In February, IBM announced plans to double the number of partners it works with and focus more resources on the small and medium enterprise market - companies with between 100 and 1,000 staff.

Joe Senior, business unit executive for IBM's Integrated Partner Team, said: "We've recruited over 200 new partners this year - that is partners who have bought and sold IBM kit this year who did not do so last year. We are well on track to double the number of partners this year.

"IBM is unique among major vendors in that we are channel-only - there is no competing team within IBM."

Newly-signed IBM partner Tripleplay specialises in Internet Protocol Telly and video products. Spokesman Steve Rickless said the company used to be a HP house but "got frustrated". He said HP failed to support them in big contracts, and the company lost a big contract because HP wasn't there.

He said: "HP just want to shift tin...they're not interested in providing a solution. We brought them a big supermarket and they just made us look stupid."

Northamber sales director Jared Carey said the partner programme solved a lot of historic problems with IBM where sales staff were focused on just one product.

IBM is offering partners the chance to sell managed services which are delivered remotely.

IBM's Expressed Managed Services, which are sold on a per seat, per month basis, include email security, web security, backup for distributed servers, email recovery, and RFID. More services are due to be rolled out over the year.

RFID, only available in the US and Europe, aims to provide a simple and cheap way to get RFID compliance - some US and UK supermarkets are pressuring suppliers to fix the radio chips to their pallets and stock.

Further discounts are available to resellers if they bundle several services together.

IBM commissioned IDC to survey 160 European channel players and found data backup and recovery is an increasingly important issue for SMEs. The survey also found that demand for security services was driving up salaries, making life harder for SMEs trying to keep staff. ®

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