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IBM Promises Faster Bid Approval Amid Price War With Dell

IBM on Thursday acknowledged that it's in a price war with Dell and promised new xSeries incentives and a quicker turnaround in bid certification and price quotes by the end of the month.

The Armonk, N.Y.-based IT giant also plans to expand its bid certification program to cover lower-end xSeries servers, including blades.

"In the last four months, we've seen a price war from Dell. One thing I believe you need is the best price fast," Towney Kennard, IBM's vice president of Americas Business Partners, told solution providers at distributor Arrow Electronics' Support Net May Days conference in Indianapolis.

The challenge for IBM is to meet Dell's pricing while preserving partner margins, Kennard said. Partners attending the event complained that it often takes up to three days to get special pricing approved by IBM.

"That's not competitive. I'm going to fix that," Kennard said. "You can bet the ranch that we'll have a new way to do special bids, and I'm hoping that I can fix that by the end of the month. I have to be as fast as the market dictates, which is 24 to 48 hours."

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