Redefining the Enterprise

By Stan Gibson  |  Posted 2006-06-05 Print this article Print

Yet finding products that are easy for small enterprises to set up and get running isnt easy.

Heres how some enterprise vendors are trying to redefine the enterprise and how some customers are taking advantage.

IBM has Express products in many lines of business that target small enterprises. More are on the way.
In May, the company announced blade and storage offerings for small and midsize businesses and, in April, announced a new small mainframe. IBMs services wing is leading the charge, vowing to package solutions of hardware, software and services that can be sold to many different users with little modification.

In one case, IBM was able to scale itself down to the right level by offering an inexpensive Linux-based blade package with enough support to get the job done. Matt Welker, chief technology officer at CORE Feature Animation, a 100-employee company that creates animation effects for movies, wanted to build a rendering farm to create animation effects for the Disney movie "The Wild" and was seeking a cheaper approach than his companys previous vendor, SGI, had.

"IBM was the only [vendor] that gave us the full support we required. They made it like a turnkey operation," said Welker in Toronto. "With SGI in the past, we didnt see the same level of attention."

But IBM doesnt always get it right. FoxHollows Miller said IBMs approach is still too large-scale and too IBM-centric. "We dont need Notes Domino, and they want to sell you the suite of products from IBM," Miller said. "They should contact me and say, Weve got some solutions that are appropriate for a company your size that would help solve specific business problems." Although Miller said he sees signs of improvement from IBM, FoxHollow still does not use any IBM products or services.

Next Page: Oracle and the little guys.

Stan Gibson is Executive Editor of eWEEK. In addition to taking part in Ziff Davis eSeminars and taking charge of special editorial projects, his columns and editorials appear regularly in both the print and online editions of eWEEK. He is chairman of eWEEK's Editorial Board, which received the 1999 Jesse H. Neal Award of the American Business Press. In ten years at eWEEK, Gibson has served eWEEK (formerly PC Week) as Executive Editor/eBiz Strategies, Deputy News Editor, Networking Editor, Assignment Editor and Department Editor. His Webcast program, 'Take Down,' appeared on He has appeared on many radio and television programs including TechTV, CNBC, PBS, WBZ-Boston, WEVD New York and New England Cable News. Gibson has appeared as keynoter at many conferences, including CAMP Expo, Society for Information Management, and the Technology Managers Forum. A 19-year veteran covering information technology, he was previously News Editor at Communications Week and was Software Editor and Systems Editor at Computerworld.

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