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IBM Goes After Dell, HP With SystemSeller Program

IBM is aiming to get more price competitive against Dell and Hewlett Packard with a new SystemSeller program targeted at partners selling servers and storage to midmarket customers.

The new program, announced Monday at PartnerWorld in Las Vegas, will provide IBM partners with more aggressively priced, preconfigured eServer and TotalStorage offerings for price-conscious, midmarket customers. To be formally launched April 1, the program will comprise 20 to 30 models, including IBM xSeries servers and Blade Center models, IBM OpenPower Linux systems and IBM TotalStorage disk and tape products, said Elaine Lennox, vice president of SMB Systems and Technology Group for IBM.

"We will monitor prices every week and in some cases every day against the competition," said Lennox. IBM plans to back the program with $100 million to fund demand-generating efforts for the new SystemSeller models being sold by IBM partners, she said.

Susan Whitney, general manager of eServer X Series, said the new program is designed to make IBM more competitive against Dell and Hewlett Packard. "This is designed to be price-competitive with all our tier one competitors at units of one," said Whitney.

John Paget, the president of North America and COO of IBM distribution partner Synnex, applauded the new IBM offering. "The concept of bringing a set of a few industry standard SKUs to market makes a lot of sense for the manufacturer, reseller and distribution. " The success of the new program, however, will depend on how well the preconfigured products meet customer requirements, cautioned Paget.

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