Enterprise Linux Today: IBM’s Small Business Suite; Enterprise Software on a Small Business Budget

“Only a week after IBM announced enhancements to DB2 on
Linux that should boost Linux use at the very high end, Big Blue
has unveiled special low pricing for small businesses on a bundle
of its enterprise apps that includes DB2. The Small Business Suite
gives IT consultants who have so far avoided supporting Linux a big
incentive to take the plunge.”

“On Monday IBM officially announced their Small Business Suite
(SBS) for Linux. This is a bundle of IBM’s most popular, industrial
strength, enterprise-class applications — offered in a package
small businesses can easily afford and which independent software
vendors (ISVs) and value-added resellers (VARs) can make money
supporting. I took advantage of an opportunity to talk with Scott
Handy, the director of Linux solutions marketing for IBM, to find
out why IBM sees this announcement as an important one for

“In summary, Handy said SBS greatly increases the incentive for
any ISVs and VARs that so far have been reluctant to support Linux
to go ahead and take the plunge. According to IDC estimates, 48% of
Linux server installations are small businesses. These businesses
have already decided to deploy Linux on one or more
servers, and represent a potentially lucrative market for ISVs and
VARs to support.”

“The SBS package pricing makes the IBM enterprise software
affordable for these small businesses, leaving the ISVs
and VARs room to charge for installing and configuring the
software… an additional feature with strong appeal for ISVs and
VARs is the IBM Suites Installer. He said that, besides doing a
great job of painlessly installing the IBM software — on clients
and servers, on Linux and Windows clients, in ten
different languages — the installer allows the ISVs and VARs to
make their own applications part of the install.”


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