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February 05, 2013

IBM to Offer New Server Designed for Emerging Markets, SMBs

Tech giant IBM (News - Alert) will soon offer a new Power server that is designed for emerging markets as well as small-to-medium-sized businesses (SMBs), according to news reports.

The product will be offered starting later this month and is seen as a way that IBM can compete with such traditional rivals in the market as Oracle (News - Alert) and Hewlett Packard. It will begin to ship on Feb. 20.

"Big data and cloud technologies that were once only affordable to large enterprises are now available to the masses,” Rod Adkins, a senior vice president in IBM's Systems & Technology Group, told Reuters in explaining the product launch. “With these new systems, IBM is forging an aggressive expansion of its Power and Storage Systems business into SMB … and growth markets."

The server features IBM's Power7+ chips, according to ZDNet. It can be used for private clouds or virtualization, as well as be used for analysis of large amounts of data.

Power Express 710 machines will sell for $5,947 or higher. IBM claims that makes it some 50 percent less expensive than earlier models.

It is also noteworthy the product also features limited “elements of software and hardware derived from Watson the supercomputer -- built with power servers -- that was able to beat human opponents on the show ‘Jeopardy!’” ZDNet adds.

The server could be targeted to emerging markets -- such as those in Africa and Southeast Asia. Dell (News - Alert) and Hewlett Packard are rivals in these regions. Also, Microsoft has just announced a major initiative in Africa. Up to a million small businesses in Africa will be able to get online over the next three years through the new $75 million program just announced by Microsoft (News - Alert), TechZone360 reported. The company will also provide tech training for up to 200,000 potential technology users.

IBM considers the emerging and SMB markets important, too.

"They (IBM) are serving notice to competitors saying we are not giving up and by continuing to offer ever-improving performance to customers, they are making sure there's no temptation to switch,” Forrester Research (News - Alert) analyst Rich Fichera told Reuters.

Edited by Rachel Ramsey

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