IBM preps desktop management services

IBM has designed a new set of services specifically for small and medium-size businesses that need help managing their desktop PCs and printers, the company announced Wednesday.

The new suite, called IBM Desktop Management Services, is available now and is priced starting at US$40 per seat per month.

The services are delivered remotely by IBM via the Internet through servers loaded with desktop management software that IBM places at the clients' sites, said Dale Moegling, manager of International Desktop Services at IBM Global Services during a conference call with reporters.

The suite of services will enhance and reduce the cost of companies' desktop management, while freeing up in-house IT staffers to do more sophisticated work, Moegling said. "This is intended to be complementary to the work of in-house IT folks," he said.

He gave the hypothetical example of a hospital, where the internal IT staffers would be able to devote more time to hospital applications, while IBM would provide the day-to-day management of desktops, such as virus-definition updates and network monitoring. "Our offering is for more traditional, mechanical support services," he said.

Only PCs running Microsoft Corp.'s Windows 2000 and Windows XP can be serviced by IBM. Other desktop operating systems, such as those based on Linux, aren't supported, he said.

For $40 per month per user, IBM will deliver a suite of services that includes, among other things:

-- the IBM servers that are remotely managed by IBM over the Internet and that have the necessary desktop management software;

-- automated backup of end-users' desktop PCs, so that in the event of a hard-disk failure, the PC can be reconstituted by IBM remotely without intervention from the client's IT staff;

-- updating of virus definitions, sometimes before the definitions become generally available, and virus scanning;

-- remote desktop monitoring, including automatic software distribution and updates.

"This suite of services is interesting because it is fairly comprehensive and addresses buckets of different areas that are of concern to SMBs (small and medium-size businesses)," said John Madden, a Summit Strategies Inc. analyst. "It hits all the pain points."

The suite shows that IBM effectively adapted services and methods it has provided to large companies and repackaged them for SMBs in a way that is affordable and simpler, he said. Now IBM needs to continue making its case to SMBs, which may not until now have considered IBM a services provider they could afford, Madden said.

"These SMB folks may be wondering why IBM would want their business. IBM needs to convince them that not only does it want their business, but that it will go out of its way to get it," he said. "IBM needs to keep focused on making itself attractive to them."

IBM's initiative is yet another indication of the rising importance of SMBs for large IT services providers, which see a growth area in this segment of the market, Madden said. Other IBM IT services competitors focusing on catering to SMBs include Hewlett-Packard Co., Electronic Data Systems Corp. and Dell Inc., he said.

Two factors are fueling the IT services growth in the SMB segment: one is an increase in demand from SMBs themselves for IT services, and the other is a newfound interest from large IT services providers in this traditionally underserved market, he said.

"The growth has to come from somewhere, and large IT services providers are looking to the midmarket for it," Madden said. "SMB clients will feel particularly well-catered to in the coming years."

Join the newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.
Rocket to Success - Your 10 Tips for Smarter ERP System Selection
Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Juan Carlos Perez

IDG News Service
Show Comments

Cool Tech

SanDisk MicroSDXC™ for Nintendo® Switch™

Learn more >

Breitling Superocean Heritage Chronographe 44

Learn more >

Toys for Boys

Family Friendly

Panasonic 4K UHD Blu-Ray Player and Full HD Recorder with Netflix - UBT1GL-K

Learn more >

Stocking Stuffer

Razer DeathAdder Expert Ergonomic Gaming Mouse

Learn more >

Christmas Gift Guide

Click for more ›

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Edwina Hargreaves

WD My Cloud Home

I would recommend this device for families and small businesses who want one safe place to store all their important digital content and a way to easily share it with friends, family, business partners, or customers.

Walid Mikhael

Brother QL-820NWB Professional Label Printer

It’s easy to set up, it’s compact and quiet when printing and to top if off, the print quality is excellent. This is hands down the best printer I’ve used for printing labels.

Ben Ramsden

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

Brainstorming, innovation, problem solving, and negotiation have all become much more productive and valuable if people can easily collaborate in real time with minimal friction.

Sarah Ieroianni

Brother QL-820NWB Professional Label Printer

The print quality also does not disappoint, it’s clear, bold, doesn’t smudge and the text is perfectly sized.

Ratchada Dunn

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

The Huddle Board’s built in program; Sharp Touch Viewing software allows us to easily manipulate and edit our documents (jpegs and PDFs) all at the same time on the dashboard.

George Khoury

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

The biggest perks for me would be that it comes with easy to use and comprehensive programs that make the collaboration process a whole lot more intuitive and organic

Featured Content

Product Launch Showcase

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?