IBM Has New Wave Of Products Boarding The Express Train

Mike Borman, vice president of worldwide sales for the IBM Software Group, said the Armonk, N.Y.-based vendor is planning to unveil in the next several weeks Express Run Time for ISVs and IBM Solution Builder Express for infrastructure ISVs.

The new offerings, which open the door to additional integration opportunities for partners, are two of 13 new Express software rollouts planned by the Software Group this year, Borman said. Among those new products are Express versions of Tivoli network management software and Informix database software.

"The Express offering is our major go-to-market initiative from a product as well as a packaging standpoint to go after the SMB market for software," Borman said.

Al Zollar, IBM general manager of Tivoli, said the first Tivoli Express offerings will be out this year. "These will be products in the security and management areas designed for the midmarket," he said. "And we will be recruiting partners to reach this market."

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IBM also will begin shipping an Express Version of Informix 10 in May or June, said Janet Perna, general manager of IBM data management solutions. "In the last year, we've been working with somewhere between 1,000 to 1,500 DB2 Express partners," she said.

The new Express products are part of a massive IBM blitz to increase sales and market share among price-conscious midmarket accounts that are predominantly served by IBM Business Partners.

IBM's Systems and Technology Group is also set to unveil a wave of Express offerings, while IBM Global Services is readying several Express-branded managed services offerings. On the systems front, IBM plans to double the number of Express server offerings this year, including new Intel-based iSeries and Unix-based pSeries systems.

Bryan Cafaro, CEO of Tri-Bry, a Hoboken, N.J.-based IBM solution provider, said he is excited by the new offerings. "Express has opened up a lot of opportunities for us with SMB customers," Cafaro said. "It's made a big difference."

MICHAEL VIZARD contributed to this story.