IBM Advances with SME Expansion Plan in Bhubaneswar

Thursday, December 6, 2007

As part of its ongoing expansion strategy to Tier 2 cities throughout the country, IBM India announced the launch of its SMB operations in Bhubaneswar. This expansion will enable IBM to provide better support to SME clients in and around Bhubaneswar and help IBM’s customers leverage IT for business growth. In addition, mid-market businesses will also benefit from the new IBM Express Advantage initiative that provides SMEs with a unified end-to-end approach to help them innovate and expand.

IBM is one of the first companies to have a focus on the SME market starting in the early 1990’s. In India, IBM saw the potential for growth in SME market businesses and recognized the need for innovative offerings to give SMEs a competitive edge in a rapidly evolving marketplace. Nearly 60% of IBM India’s revenue comes from SMBs with 15-20% of IBM India’s workforce dedicated to the SMB market.

Earlier this year, IBM had announced a plan to extend its presence to 14 cities outside of the key metros, and has successfully launched operations in Bhopal, Chandigarh, Coimbatore, Cochin, Goa, Jaipur, Jamshedpur, Lucknow, Nagpur, Nashik, Surat, and Vizag. It will look to expand into Ludhiana & Madurai as well.

“We have made it a priority to recognize the needs and challenges Indian SMEs face in various industries across the board. In order to help them minimize the business challenges they face while increasing their return on investment we are providing easy access to a full range of SME specific solutions and services. It is our goal to provide SMEs with affordable offerings and a support network of IBM Business Partners who understand their marketplace in order to help them succeed,” said Vivek Malhotra, vice-president, Global Mid-Market Business, IBM India/South Asia.

IBM’s SME offerings have already been accepted in various industries in Bhubaneswar including Government, Steel & Mines, & Education. Some existing customers in Bhubaneswar include, Government of Orrisa IT Department – OCAC, Dept of Treasury Orrisa, Paradeep Phosphates Ltd, Vedanta Alumina Ltd, Kalinga Inst of Industrial Tech, Biju Patnaik University of Technology & Utkal University to name a few.

IBM has invested in the development of products and services specifically priced and designed for the SMB marketplace under the brand name ?IBM Express Portfolio’. IBM’s Express portfolio comprises hardware, software, services, solutions and financing and is designed to meet specific criteria for SMBs. Mid-market businesses will also have the opportunity to benefit from IBM’s Express Advantage initiative which includes the “Express Portfolio” and provides mid-market businesses access to a network of local IBM Business Partners and customer experience capabilities.

In India IBM also recently introduced the SME Toolkit. The SME Toolkit is a free program that enables entrepreneurs and small businesses to learn how to implement sustainable business management practices needed for growth in areas such as finance, accounting, international business, marketing, human resources or legal. The Toolkit includes new Web 2.0 features such as live chat, online forums, business directories and survey capabilities to create a community where small and medium sized business can collaborate – anywhere around the world.

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Source: India Infoline (link opens in a new window)