IBM appears to be so frustrated with the lack of SMB client sales growth after the financial crash in 2008 that it has announced a scheme to loan money to a slew of them to the tune of $4 billion.
The plan will open the kitty up through IBM Global Financing and even come with a mobile app so companies can potentially access credit in minutes, anywhere.
IBM pointed out that by 2020 it’s expected there will be 10 billion mobile devices out in the wild, so it makes sense for the company to speed up crediting through the iPad, iPhone or Android (but not Blackberry).
BusinessInsider reckons that Big Blue is playing the long game. By getting involved at an early stage and opening its kimono to credit and IBM technology, partners are more likely to stay with the company in the long run. Besides, IBM spokesperson Ed Abrams told BusinessInsider that plenty of SMBs want to indulge in the latest buzzwords – big data, cloud – in tech, they just need a little direction, preferably towards IBM.
Abrams said the program is on the back of a trial last year where the company injected $1 billion worth of financing into the SMB market, expecting it to last 18 months. IBM got through it in less than a year, and 7000 businesses signed up.
IBM seems to be planning to plant as many seeds as it can for even more long-term growth.
Optical storage maker Lite On has made its first move into the UK solid state drive market with the E200.
Aimed at small to medium business users it is attempting to push for more widespread SSD use, which are becoming more and more affordable.
Although a UK price has not yet been agreed, we are told, the SSD will be released in 80GB and 160GB flavours.
The 2.5 inch SSDs will be shipped with a 3.5 inch bracket meaning that the storage devices will be easy to put into a notebook or desktop.
The E200 will have sequential read and write speeds of up to 503 Mb/s and 265 Mb/s. Random read and write speeds are 71,000 IOPS and 64,000 IOPS.
The drive also supports the latest SATA 6GB/s and uses a Marvell controller. This means fast boot up times, as you would expect from an SSD, and less faffing around for office workers and those using business PCs.
Lite On is also promising reliable performance over a long period to combat any slow down with heavy usage of the E200. True Speed certification standards mean that this should not be a problem, with efficiency staying the same throughout its lifespan.
With SSD prices dropping the popularity of the storage devices looks set to increase this year, both in the consumer space and for businesses.
The unified communications market in Europe, the Middle East and Africa (EMEA) is forecast to more than double over the next four years, according to the latest report by the International Data Corporation (IDC).
The market for unified communications in EMEA was worth $8 billion in 2010, but this figure will jump to $16.6 billion by 2014.
Isabel Montero, senior research analyst of unified communications and collaboration at IDC, said that companies are continuing to be cautious with IT spending due to the economic downturn and that budgets will continue to be monitored, restricted or delayed until there’s more confidence in the market. Despite this, the unified communications market will see moderate growth over the next few years.
Growth is expected to speed up closer to 2014, led by small and medium sized businesses. It is expected that these will opt for outsourcing their unified communications and that there will be a rise in cloud-based services in this area to cater for demand. Managed services are also likely to increase.
A significant rise in mergers and acquisitions is also on the cards, according to IDC, due to strong competition between legacy vendors looking to come up with approaches to unified communications that better suit an “open source ecosystem”.
Storage device manufacturer Iomega has today announced a new range of external USB 3.0 SSD Flash Drives for the small and medium business market.
The new 1.8-inch drives utilise solid state technology to deliver greater performance, while the USB 3.0 featre should help increase speed further. They will be available in 64GB, 128GB and 256GB capacities.
The drives also feature 256-bit hardware encryption to protect against data leaks and come bundled with the Iomega Protection Suite anti-virus software to ensure added security. They can also withstand drops from up 10 feet, preventing potentially costly data loss if they are knocked over.
Iomega is boasting these drives as having superior speeds to many others on the market. The USB 3.0 interface allows up to 10 times faster speeds than USB 2.0 drives, while the SSD technology will give twice the speed as a standard 7200 RPM SATA hard drive with USB 3.0.
The drives will be available in early November with prices varying depending on capacity. The 64GB model will have a suggested retail price of $299, the 128GB should sell for $399, and the 256GB is significantly costlier at $749.
All models come with a standard three year warranty from Iomega after registration.
AMD won a design win for its Opteron 6000 Series processors after IBM said it would show systems using the chips at VM World.
The IBM X3755 M3 machines are aimed at the enterprise, high performance computing and small and medium businesses.
AMD said a number of other companies will show off machines using the chips at VM World, including Acer – which has both rack and blade systems; Dell with rack systems; HP with both rack and blade systems, and IBM.
The good old Cray fish will also use AMD Optero 6000s to produce petascale systems, so all-in-all AMD is giving itself a pat on the corporate tummy, sorry back.
AMD is attacking Intel by suggesting that a “4P tax” prevents customers and end users getting the best value for systems.
Meanwhile, David Kanter, at Real World Tech, has done an in depth piece on AMD’s forthcoming “Bulldozer” technologies, which he says will appear between the middle and the end of next year using a 32 nanometre process. His analysis of the future is here.