Big Blue, four ISVs team up

Less than a month after announcing its e-business on demand initiative, IBM said it has signed four independent software vendors (ISV) that will provide applications for its medium-sized business customers.

The four ISVs that were chosen include HRsmart, which will offer applications for online recruiting and applicant tracking; Intacct Corp. for its accounting systems; Onyx Software Corp. for its marketing and sales force automation software; and Employease Inc. for its administrative tasks which connect HR professionals with employees, managers and external service providers.

IBM will in turn host these applications at its data centres which are accessible via a Web browser.

According to research firm AMI Partners, the medium-sized business market will spend somewhere around US$150 billion on IT over the next three years.

“The mid-market companies are most interested in (e-business on demand) because they have all the needs of a large enterprise (without) the large IT resources,” said Mike Riegel, marketing executive e-business hosting at IBM in Raleigh, N.C.

The potential customer would first engage with the ISV that IBM has a partnership with, and while not acting as the application provider, that company would manage the process through IBM’s data centre offering, he explained.

Big Blue has defined e-business on demand as one where business processes – integrated end-to-end across the company with industry partners, suppliers and customers – can respond rapidly to customers’ demands and market opportunities.

“We want our customers to focus on their business and not on running IT,” Riegel said.

In Canada, all of the ISV offerings are available. Riegel hinted that there are customers who are in the beta testing phase, but would not reveal who those customers were.