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IBM Targets SMBs With Express Software, Blade Server Bundles

IBM on Tuesday plans to unveil IT business solutions for small and midsize companies that combine its WebSphere Express software with blade servers.

The IBM eServer BladeCenter Business Express offerings include preloaded, preconfigured WebSphere Express software on IBM BladeCenter servers, said Elaine Lennox, vice president of SMB for IBM servers and storage. IBM distributors will integrate the middleware and hardware for their VAR partners, which in turn can sell them to customers, she said.

The BladeCenter Business Express solutions are available immediately from distributor Avnet and will be available through Agilysys on June 1, Lennox said. IBM will make the solutions available through other distributors in the next quarter.

IBM also is enabling partners to customize the BladeCenter Business Express offerings through the Built On Express program. After certifying that their applications are compatible with IBM Express software, solution providers can add a Built On Express logo and have distributors integrate the software with existing BladeCenter Business Express solutions, Lennox said.

"Think of [the offerings] as a set of Lego building blocks," she said. "Partners can take these building blocks and customize them by adding incremental software or applications on top."

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