IBM launches “Smart Business” for SMBs : By - Ramesh Narasimhan Director, General Business, IBM India/South Asia

By VARINDIA - 2010-03-16

IBM launches “Smart Business” for SMBs : By - Ramesh Narasimhan Director, General Business, IBM India/South Asia

 IBM has launched a programme for SMBs. Known as IBM Smart Business, it is believed to be a breakthrough for small and medium businesses to acquire, use and manage technology that is radically simple.

Two years ago, as part of IBM “Innovation Jam”, the largest online brainstorm ever held, more than 150,000 people from over 100 countries converged to discuss ways in which technology could enable advancements in everyday life. One of the biggest issues identified was the tremendous need to make IT less complex for small and medium businesses. 

IBM’s answer to this issue will get its first market test in the entrepreneurial Indian marketplace which boasts more than 35 million small and medium businesses. With the introduction of Smart Business, IBM aims to fuel the growth of these businesses by delivering ready-to-use IT that is easy to implement, operate and grow.

IBM Smart Business delivers: 
* A pre-integrated solution with all the fundamental technology required to run a business with no manuals required. 
* Access to a Web-based community and marketplace to acquire new business applications, and web-delivered collaborative services immediately ready to support a business, such as access to remote (cloud-based) application services like managed security and hosted back-up and recovery. 
* A single point of contact for service and support - IBM.

“IBM’s ambitious vision for small and medium businesses, stakes out a clear leadership strategy that embraces new technologies, open standards and Web 2.0 capabilities. We will deliver the industry’s most desirable IT experience for small and medium business – delighting our clients with a wide choice of optimized applications; powerful, industry-standard business systems with built-in security and business resiliency; and a single point of contact for service and support,” said Ramesh Narasimhan, Director, General Business, IBM India/South Asia.

Early Focus on Healthcare and Manufacturing Industries 
IBM has focussed the initial launch of Smart Business on the healthcare and manufacturing industries ripe for technology solutions to solve significant business challenges: 
* India has achieved notable advances in its healthcare industry in recent years. Yet, the country still faces significant challenges that include quality of care, rising costs and insufficient access for many citizens. It is essential that India transform its healthcare financing, quality and delivery before the system reaches a breaking point. 
* At the same time, change is spreading across the manufacturing landscape at a breakneck pace, bringing healthy productivity gains to the industry. But the downside is that change can be very difficult to manage. Fortunately, new forms of planning, integration and financial insight tools enable mid-size manufacturers to better handle rapid change and growing complexity.

With Smart Business, IBM will provide access to solutions from leading software providers that specialize in these industries and deeper sub-industries, while eliminating the complexity of managing technology. Healthcare providers and component manufacturers will be able to grow their businesses by increasing capabilities not complexity, and building connections to a community of others in their industry.

Smart Business Curriculum at National Institute of Fashion TechnologyThe textile and apparel manufacturing industry continues to play a vital role in India’s economy, accounting for $20.5 billion of the country’s exports – second only to the IT industry, according to the Confederation of Indian Textile Industry (CITI). For an industry that employs 88 million people across the country, the National Institute of Fashion Technology (NIFT) plays a critical role in developing and instituting curriculum to help future entrepreneurs take advantage of cutting-edge manufacturing technology to increase the quality of production while lowering production costs, to better compete with growing global competition.

As an early user, the NIFT is in the process of implementing IBM Smart Business in eight of its educational facilities nationwide to use in the curriculum with entrepreneurial students looking to build new business skills to compete in the competitive industry.

The selected IBM Smart Business solution will feature a leading apparel and textile manufacturing application from Smart Business partners Datatex Textile ERP and Infinite Computer Solutions, and will be used in the curriculum to build skills in using the technology to increase productivity by addressing various functional areas like planning, merchandising, sales, materials, manufacturing, costing, business intelligence, and manufacturing execution.

“IBM Smart Business provides the value our small and medium size business customers are looking for, ready-to-use IT that is built on a set of open standard interfaces that makes the installation of new applications, systems management and online services easy to use, consistent and compatible for all customers,” said Guruprasad S. Rao, Head of Enterprise Solutions Group, Infinite Computer Solutions.

Availability 
IBM Smart Business is available in India beginning November 21, 2008 and includes: 
* Smart Market is a Web-enabled, one-stop SMB marketplace clients can use to browse, rate and buy solutions or collaborate with other clients, industry experts and vendors from around the world. 
* Smart Cube is a secure, turnkey computer designed to deliver integrated solutions directly to the client. Smart Cubes install and connect users to Smart Market within minutes. 
* Smart Desk is a Web-enabled dashboard that clients can use as a single-point-of-contact for Smart Business maintenance, from updating applications automatically or subscribing to an on-demand service.

This announcement also provides application providers and resellers an open platform on which to grow their business and deliver better value to their customers. In addition to Infinite Computer Solutions, IBM is working with a growing number of leading ISVs in India, including Adrenalin eSystems, Aunwesha, AWPL, Cincom Systems, Idhasoft, Infor, Instant Collaboration, Karishma, Nexstep, Sobha Renaissance, Information Technology, Teamworks Solutions, Telesis Global Solutions, and Transversal eNetworks.


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