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IBM Hunts For SMB Customers With Desktop Management Services

IBM on Wednesday launched a new per-seat-priced suite of desktop management services for mid-sized businesses that include automatic backup, image management, and anti-virus and anti-spam protection.

Christened IBM Desktop Management Services, the hosted services are IBM's effort to bring some of the on-demand computing practices it's been touting to larger firms down to the mid-market.

"Most competitors are selling tools; we're selling a service solution," said Dale Moegling, the manager of international desktop services with IBM's Global Services division. "There's no one else providing such services on a price per seat basis. That's right in line with our on-demand strategy."

Although IBM's better known as a vendor for the biggest firms, it's seen some solid success in the small- to medium-sized business (SMB) space, claimed Beth Feeney, director of small and medium business offerings for IBM Global Services.

In the first quarter of 2004, for instance, IBM registered a 14 percent gain in its SMB sales over the same quarter of 2003, Feeny said. The new desktop services debuted Wednesday are part of IBM's Express Service portfolio, which is under the Global Services' umbrella.

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