SOURCE: IBM

May 10, 2005 12:22 ET

IBM Survey Shows Security and Regulatory Compliance an Increasing Issue for Small and Medium-Sized Businesses

New IBM Express Offerings Help Secure IT Infrastructure

ARMONK, NY -- (MARKET WIRE) -- May 10, 2005 -- Data security tops the list of compliance related challenges faced by small and medium-sized businesses (SMBs), according to a survey released today by IBM as it announced a new suite of Express services and systems offerings to help SMBs address IT security, dependability and compliance needs. The survey said these issues are of increasing concern and are driving new levels of IT investment in these companies.

More than half of the small and medium-sized business executives polled said that compliance is more of a challenge today than it was a year ago, and 64 percent claim their company is actively engaged in addressing compliance issues. Nearly 70 percent of respondents that were C-level executives at companies with more than 100 employees said data security was at the top of their list of compliance concerns. Four in ten of SMBs polled plan to both upgrade and acquire new applications (45%) and infrastructure (39%). The survey also discovered that C-level executives at SMBs feel that their companies have achieved unexpected benefits, such as improved efficiency, documented business processes and IT security, as a result of compliance with new regulations.

Organizations today face a constantly evolving environment, whether a new set of regulations or a new external security threat. This poses an especially difficult challenge to SMBs, usually defined as companies with less than 1,000 employees. Even with limited IT staff and budgets, they must make their infrastructure more cost-effective, ensure business continuity and reduce risk while maintaining the confidentiality and integrity of information assets. The inability to access information can mean delays in conducting business that can negatively impact a company's bottom line and reputation with customers, investors and partners.

To help SMBs become more secure, dependable and compliant, IBM's new set of Express hardware, software, services and financing offerings are uniquely designed and priced to help business productivity and operational efficiency by leveraging existing infrastructures. These solutions provide flexible, open architectures designed to help increase business efficiency, reduce IT complexity, lower operational costs and help enable clients address security and compliance issues.

"Establishing a secure IT environment is a crucial first step for addressing any set of business compliance issues, as well as for protecting information assets and ensuring business continuity," said Marc Lautenbach, general manager, IBM Global Small and Medium Business. "But for smaller companies with limited budgets and IT staffs, new solutions and approaches are required that enable the retention and securing of critical business data in a way that is cost-effective to acquire and manage. Express is the only portfolio of offerings in the IT industry designed with specific business and IT needs of the SMB customer in mind."

IBM's Express offerings announced today include:

SECURITY AND STORAGE SOLUTIONS

IBM Express Managed Security Services for e-mail Security: Delivered by IBM Business Partners, the IBM Express Managed Security Services for e-mail Security is designed to help medium businesses mitigate the risks inherent in Internet e-mail communications. By using advanced technologies, e-mail is scanned off-site for spam, viruses, and questionable material before it reaches a company's network, thereby enabling an extra layer of protection to help companies manage critical data.

IBM Express Managed Security Services for e-mail Security is priced on a per seat per month basis, based on the level of service desired, and with no investment in hardware, software or updates, companies can easily predict monthly expenses, helping them to better manage costs. Pricing ranges from $1 to $4.25 per seat per month depending on the number of users and the selected service options.

IBM eServer OpenPower Network e-Mail Security Express: IBM eServer OpenPower Network e-Mail Security Express offering has been designed to help SMB clients fend off vicious e-mail spam and network viruses on demand. It is an attractive solution for companies of 100 to 1000 employees that have implemented a network e-mail solution, but are concerned about the risks computer viruses, worms and spam e-mail messages pose to their networks. This network security offering combines the high-availability features of an OpenPower 710 system with the flexibility of the Linux operating system, and the adaptability and ease of management of an innovative Message Processing Platform (MPP) to create a solution that fills security gaps that can risk company assets, jeopardize compliance, diminish productivity, and increase IT costs. MPP, created by Message Partners, an IBM Business Partner, is a first-of-a-kind network e-mail security application that is adaptable and scalable with integrated automated archiving capability. The IBM eServer OpenPower Network e-Mail Security Express offering is a cross-industry solution that is designed to fit into an existing network without replacing a client's current e-mail servers -- an ideal solution for customers requiring a secure network e-mail infrastructure. SMB's can take advantage of simple and attractive financing options under the IBM Financing Advantage Program, designed specifically for SMB business and Express solutions.

IBM also plans to announce a version of the IBM TotalStorage DR550 solution configured specifically for SMB customers. The DR550 offering, an integrated data retention and compliance solution, designed to help clients -- especially those facing increasing regulatory requirements -- who need to archive emails, retain data and preserve electronic business records. The new configuration integrates storage, server and Tivoli Storage Manager for Data Retention technology and will be IBM's first integrated offering for archiving and retrieving data in non-erasable and non-rewritable formats targeted to the needs of SMB customers. To help clients better respond to changing business environments as they transform their infrastructure, the DR550 can be initially shipped with as few as 1.1 terabytes and can expanded to address growing data requirements.

The IBM eServer OpenPower Network e-Mail Security Express solution will be sold through IBM Business Partners, and is priced to be competitive for the SMB market with a starting price of $5,000.

IMPLEMENTATION SERVICES AND MANAGED SERVICES SOLUTIONS

IBM Express Desktop Management Services -- Business Partner managed and customer managed: Now available through qualified IBM and Lenovo Business Partners. These new IBM Express Desktop Management Services automate many cumbersome tasks associated with managing personal computing environments and now offer additional flexibility with two new choices, Business Partner managed or customer managed. For a fixed, predictable price, SMBs gain access to expertise, resources, and the latest technology at a fraction of the cost managing PC networks. Highlights of the customer managed service are, backup and recovery, migration, asset inventory and selected file retrieval from an archived backup.

Highlights of the Business Partner managed service included all of the customer managed functions in addition to: remote IT administration and management, including password resets, asset management, SMB Helpdesk including chat, remote console takeover, and trouble ticketing, secure data disposal to ensure critical business data has been wiped clean from a hard drive prior to asset disposal. This security rich service also enables image and patch management, security and virus protection updates. Powered by ThinkVantage Technologies, both IBM Express Desktop Management Services -- Business Partner managed and customer managed are totally integrated solutions at attractive prices.

One time charges for the ThinkVantage Technologies Engine is $1,875 and Expansion keys to support additional PC's beyond the base 5 and up to 240 PC's per LAN is $19 each. Monthly Management charges are $10 per IBM/Lenovo PC per month and $13.50 per "any" PC, per month.*

IBM Express Implementation Services for Storage Consolidation: This service helps SMBs better utilize storage and assists businesses looking to implement disaster recovery and business continuity plans with a unified data storage infrastructure. Available from IBM Business Partners providing storage solutions, the offering includes training for the customer's IT staff that helps drive productivity while reducing overall costs.

Survey Methodology

Conducted by Nielsen ReelResearch, the survey was completed by 330 business leaders in small, medium and large enterprises. Half of the surveys (165) were completed by executives at SMBs with less than 1000 employees and the remaining were completed by executives at companies with more than 1000 employees. The survey was conducted online during April 19-25, 2005.

IBM's Express Portfolio

The IBM Express Portfolio is a key part of IBM's strategy in serving the IT marketplace in SMB, estimated by IDC to reach $360 billion in 2005. The Express portfolio offers hardware, middleware, services and financing -- all tailored to the needs of mid-size businesses -- that can be acquired, installed and managed quickly, are cost-effective, and help deliver a faster return on investment (ROI). There are now 100 offerings in the IBM Express Portfolio which enables customers to improve the responsiveness and flexibility of their IT infrastructure, so they can concentrate on their core businesses. And because cash flow is one of the most pressing issues for mid-sized businesses, the IBM Express Portfolio is more affordable with a series of attractive financing options under the IBM Financing Advantage Program, designed specifically for SMB business and Express Solutions.

To learn more about IBM's Express Portfolio visit: http://express-portfolio.com/ibm/?mailingId=3100.

*IBM US list price. Price may vary by geography.

Information on Demand

The desire by businesses to access, manage and deliver information more efficiently is driving rapid change in the IT marketplace. Traditional low-tech, hardware-only approaches by proprietary vendors are meeting with resistance as companies grappling with new government mandates and business demands strive to capture and integrate information in a more seamless, real-time fashion across the enterprise. IBM's information on demand approach combines deep business insight with open standards, advanced storage systems, sophisticated systems management software and leading information management software to create efficient, cost effective and flexible information infrastructures. Regardless of industry, IBM helps companies transform data into insight to enable information on demand.

About IBM

IBM is the world's largest information technology company, with 80 years of leadership in helping businesses innovate. IBM works with companies of all sizes around the world to deploy a full range of IBM technologies. For more information about IBM, visit www.ibm.com.

Contact Information

  • Steve Malkiewicz
    IBM Sales & Distribution, Communications
    Phone: 914-642-3615