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IBM Solutions Help Midmarket Companies Build a More Dynamic Infrastructure

Focus on efficiency, customer service and reliability for midsize companies

IBM has announced a broad portfolio of offerings designed to help midsize companies tap into the power of today's interconnected, instrumented and increasingly intelligent world. Leading the way are the new BladeCenter Express servers incorporating the latest IBM POWER6 microprocessors, the new IBM Comprehensive Data Protection Solution, and LotusLive Meetings, the newest addition to the LotusLive family of offerings.

IBM is strengthening its long-standing commitment to the midmarket with solutions specifically designed for midsize businesses that are making the promise of a smarter planet a reality for this critically important market. In particular, these latest offerings address the growing need for dynamic infrastructure, making more intelligent business decisions, energy efficiency and solutions for smarter work. Through its Express Advantage strategy, IBM continues to apply its unparalleled combination of research capabilities, industry skills, technology innovation and global business partner ecosystem to help midmarket companies succeed in today's environment.

"The products and solutions IBM has introduced in the last month will help our midsize clients make better business decisions, work smarter, become greener and leaner, and create an easy to manage information technology backbone," said Marc Dupaquier, general manager, IBM Global Midmarket. "Midsize businesses have the DNA to quickly recognize and seize new opportunities and very often are on the leading edge of building innovative smarter planet solutions."

Building a smarter midmarket with Dynamic Infrastructure

IBM's strategy for a dynamic infrastructure offers a new model to help midsize organizations address rising cost pressures and higher service expectations while laying the foundation for increased productivity and value creation.

Vantage Deluxe World Travel, a leading tour operator offering high-quality, affordable travel programs for travelers in the mature adult market, is benefiting from a dynamic infrastructure. To improve delivery of travel services, Vantage needed to streamline its outdated ordering process, orchestrating a massive set of business rules for handling online travel bookings that includes a complex set of travel options and alternatives. Vantage engaged IBM to implement an online commerce solution using IBM WebSphere Commerce Express software on an IBM System x3455 platform. This system efficiently manages high-volume customer travel requests in a personalized manner, leading to an improved customer experience. As a result, the company has seen a tremendous return on investment, including an 80% increase in call center agent productivity.

"As our business grew, it was important to implement a new infrastructure that would save time and money by improving the service in our call centers while improving our customers' satisfaction," said Peter Groustra, director of Information Technology for Vantage Deluxe World Travel. "IBM enabled us to streamline our order processing system and develop a strong online presence to better reach our customer base."

New solutions and offerings to enable a dynamic infrastructure include:

The BladeCenter JS23 Express and JS43 Express now offer greater scalability and IBM's newest POWER6 processor technology and the ability to run AIX(R), IBM i, and the Linux(R) operating systems simultaneously. This helps to deliver superior business and IT services with agility and speed. In addition, the BladeCenter J23 Express and J43 Express offer midsize companies a secure, resilient and dynamic infrastructure solution that helps drive cost down, reduces risk, improves energy efficiency and enhances flexibility. The new BladeCenter offerings are also ideal for infrastructure consolidation, virtualization, and demanding applications that require scalable performance and high memory capacity.(1)

The IBM Comprehensive Data Protection Solution eliminates the need to shut down mission critical applications for nightly backups, and provides immediate recovery following almost any type of data loss. The components include Tivoli Storage Manager FastBack, DS3000 Express/DS4000 Express/DS5000 series disk Systems and System x 3550 server, supported by IBM Services and Financing options. The solution helps to manage risk, provides full recoverability should files be compromised, increases productivity by eliminating downtime during recovery, while reducing storage requirements and increasing flexibility to manage data.

For example, a midsize retailer, with a distributed IT environment, needs to ensure that critical applications are adequately protected and can be recovered quickly in the event of a failure. An IBM Business Partner implements the Comprehensive Data Protection Solution to provide automated, continuous protection that reduces data loss risk and downtime by providing near-instant recovery of data, from single files to entire volumes, and remain compliant with data retention regulations.

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