According to independent software vendors (ISVs) working with IBM Corp. to win business in the small to midsize business (SMB) space, the concept of e-business On Demand means integrating an entire enterprise operation to deliver a business solution.
At the IBM developerWorks Live! conference here Friday, a panel of ISVs spoke to why they have signed on with IBM to pursue the companys e-business on demand strategy as part of the solutions they provide their customers.
John Benders, director of infrastructure solutions at Mincom Ltd., Brisbane, Australia, said, “On demand for us means how does an extended enterprise share information? Collaboration is the word. Its all about collaboration. There has to be a lot more collaboration of information.”
Lars Wettergren, director of Intentia International ABs Monex Platform Competence Center in Danderyd, Sweden, said the industry has gone from batch computing to client server to the Web. “Whats next? Utilizing technology means sharing data and sharing resources. It doesnt stop with data.”
Steve Maegdlin, vice president of product and industry development at J.D. Edwards & Co., Denver, said in his view software always has been on demand. However, “IBMs model and vision for this is really important,” he said. “When we deploy software we deploy everything the customer needs and let them just turn it on.”
Buell Duncan, IBMs vice president of developer relations, said basically “on demand is about integration. How do all these applications work together from a business process standpoint.”
Benders said “On demand is the platform we want to build on top of. Like [senior vice president and group executive of IBM Software] Steve Mills said, in the past we built to hardware or to an operating system, now we build to a platform. And we look to IBM to provide what we provided for ourselves in the past—the infrastructure.”
Maegdlin said in general SMB customers look for three things when considering a solution: “solution fit, cost of ownership and predictable value. They want to be sure to get the value of the solution, so they are looking beyond initial price.” In fact, Maegdlin said J.D. Edwards “had a customer save $500,000 by moving off proprietary standards and moving to our open standards-based solution.”
Dan Faria, vice president of daly.commerce Inc., East Greenwich, R.I., said from his experience, “in the SMB space customers want rapid deployment. They want to know whats the time it takes to get the solution up.”
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