IBM expands midmarket software line

Big Blue adds adds 22 new products to its Express line

IBM has added to its Express line of software for midsized businesses with 22 new products in areas including security, supply chain management and backup and recovery, the company announced Monday.

IBM is among several vendors that have been targeting smaller businesses in addition to their traditional enterprise customer base. Others include SAP and Oracle.

Analysts have cautioned that smaller businesses have specific needs from software and little expertise with which to customize it. Perhaps in response, IBM said most of the new products released Monday aim to meet specific needs in two market sectors: retail and industrial.

The products include an RFID (radio frequency identification) product for retailers, product lifecycle management software for manufacturers, and supply chain diagnostic software for industrial companies, IBM said. It also announced four new pSeries servers.

Pricing and availability details weren't immediately available early Monday.

Previous Express releases include slimmed down versions of IBM's Lotus collaboration software and DB2 database. The company's sales from small and medium-sized businesses increased 10 percent in the first half of 2005, it said. It estimates the total market to be worth $360 billion per year.

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