IBM Monday debuted Virtual Desktop for Smart Business, the company's first desktop virtualization product targeting SMBs.
The new software, which allows Windows or Linux desktops to be hosted and managed centrally, will be sold almost exclusively through the channel.
IBM will be competing head-to-head with Citrix and Microsoft in the desktop virtualization space. "We think we have a superior offering here," said Ed Abrams, vice president of midmarket marketing at IBM, in an interview. "This is a hot market where we have hot competition."
Virtual Desktop for Smart Business provides a way to deliver a single image of a desktop environment to all desktop and laptop computers throughout a company. That helps businesses deploy applications more consistently across an organization and reduce costs through more effective IT management, Abrams said.
The executive said the product addresses the issue of how businesses consistently provision and manage the growing number of mobile devices employees are increasingly using today.
The software is targeted toward mid-market companies, which IBM defines as organizations with 100 to 1,000 employees. But Abrams said the software could also be used by smaller businesses.
IBM will rely almost exclusively on the channel to sell Virtual Desktop for Smart Business (IBM will sell the product direct in a few regions in Asia and Central Europe). It can be hosted by partners in a private cloud environment or implemented at the customer site.
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