IBM eyes Dell, HP in SystemSeller initiative

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IBM has launched a channel initiative in Australia that includes tailored server and storage bundles in a global bid to steal SMB market share from competitors such as Dell and HP.

IBM has launched a channel initiative in Australia that includes tailored server and storage bundles in a global bid to steal SMB market share from competitors such as Dell and HP.

Angela Fox, xSeries and IntelliStation business unit executive at IBM Server Technology Group, said IBM's new global SystemSeller program was rolling out in Australia.

The program was based on one called Top Seller that began in Europe about two years ago. SystemSeller was launched in the US mid-April, she said.

SystemSeller would particularly appeal to all types of resellers working with SMB customers on server and storage offerings, including ISVs, she said.

"It's very applicable to partners playing within the one and two-way Intel space and the volume space. In the traditional channel, mainly Tier One and Tier Two partners," Fox said.

The program was initially being rolled out to xSeries partners, with pSeries and storage resellers to follow shortly, she added.

Fox said a main attraction for resellers would be specially-designed server and storage bundles, offering pricing and margin to match.

"We've looked at what our customers are buying and business partners are buying to penetrate that [SMB] market. And we looked at where there is predictability around configurations and so on," she said.

Asked whether the program was aimed at taking market share from competitors such as HP and Dell, Fox said: "Definitely".

She said the "comprehensive" SystemSeller program would also include marketing assistance and demand generation for its partners.

Frank Vitagliano, vice-president of worldwide global distribution channels at IBM, formally announced the SystemSeller initiative in the US at Ingram Micro's VentureTech conference in Atlanta. "We are going to have very, very aggressive pricing," he said at the time. "We are going to be right on the competition with these models."

IBM here wouldn't be drawn on exact pricing.

In the US, preconfigured SystemSeller SKUs aim to provide 10 points of margin up front, with a 2 percent back-end rebate on any of the SystemSeller products sold by partners, Vitagliano said.

The preconfigured eServer and TotalStorage offerings were expected to cover 20 to 30 models, including IBM xSeries servers and BladeCenters, IBM OpenPower Linux systems and IBM TotalStorage disk and tape products.

 

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