PARTNERWORLD - CEO: SMB to become IBM's 'largest industry'

The head of IBM predicted his company's main vertical business will become small to midsize businesses within a couple of years.

The head of IBM expects the company's small to midsize business (SMB) operation to become the vendor's biggest industry focus within a couple of years.

"In two to three years, SMB will be the largest industry for us," IBM chairman, CEO and president, Sam Palmisano, said during his keynote address at IBM's PartnerWorld conference in St. Louis. Financial services has long been IBM's number-one industry in revenue terms.

Palmisano described the SMB market, valued at $US487 billion, as the biggest IT growth opportunity in the world today. The global market is currently growing at 6.5 per cent annually. Forty-seven per cent of IBM's SMB revenue was currently driven by the vendor's business partners, he said.

IBM's most significant announcement at PartnerWorld focused on the expansion of its Express Advantage program aimed at companies employing between 100-1000 staff.

Launched at last year's PartnerWorld in Las Vegas, the initiative was previously limited to the US and Canada, but was now being rolled out to 23 countries in Europe, Asia-Pacific and Latin America, IBM said. Express Advantage wraps up IBM's Express range of products for SMBs with the vendor's financial services. IBM also unveiled new Express server, storage and software offerings.

Looking at IBM's business as a whole, Palmisano described the vendor's fiscal 2006 profit mix as a much more balanced portfolio, and therefore much more stable when compared to financial results in previous years. Quoting pretax income figures for fiscal 2006, he said IBM's business split was 23 per cent systems and financing, 40 per cent software and 37 per cent services.

"2006 was the result of multiple years of strategic shifts," Palmisano said. "We made a series of bold bets and they all came together last year." Those bets included the vendor's focus on service-oriented architecture (SOA), blade servers, managed business process services, virtualisation and the coming together of software and services, he said.

As IBM continues to acquire companies, Palmisano reiterated that the company made its purchases in order to add strategic capabilities to its existing product portfolio, not to consolidate markets.

"We're not trying to become a GE [General Electric Co.], a holding company," he said. "That's not our strategy, it's all about innovation, integration and collaboration."

Join the newsletter!

Or

Sign up to gain exclusive access to email subscriptions, event invitations, competitions, giveaways, and much more.

Membership is free, and your security and privacy remain protected. View our privacy policy before signing up.

Error: Please check your email address.
Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

China Martens

IDG News Service
Show Comments

Brand Post

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Tom Pope

Dynabook Portégé X30L-G

Ultimately this laptop has achieved everything I would hope for in a laptop for work, while fitting that into a form factor and weight that is remarkable.

Tom Sellers

MSI P65

This smart laptop was enjoyable to use and great to work on – creating content was super simple.

Lolita Wang

MSI GT76

It really doesn’t get more “gaming laptop” than this.

Jack Jeffries

MSI GS75

As the Maserati or BMW of laptops, it would fit perfectly in the hands of a professional needing firepower under the hood, sophistication and class on the surface, and gaming prowess (sports mode if you will) in between.

Taylor Carr

MSI PS63

The MSI PS63 is an amazing laptop and I would definitely consider buying one in the future.

Christopher Low

Brother RJ-4230B

This small mobile printer is exactly what I need for invoicing and other jobs such as sending fellow tradesman details or step-by-step instructions that I can easily print off from my phone or the Web.

Featured Content

Product Launch Showcase

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?