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8/24/2006
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IBM Unveils WebSphere Portal For SMBs

The software provides content and document management as well as collaborative tools for small and medium-sized businesses.

IBM's recently shipped WebSphere Portal Server bundles content and document management and includes collaborative perks.

Unlike IBM's Express portal offering, WebSphere Portal Server is full featured, said John Caffrey, program director for IBM WebSphere Portal and content management products.

"It has the same core portal engine as the flagship WebSphere Portal Enable product, with portal, personalization and aggregation of applications [as well as] document management built in. And it also packages up Web content management functionality," Caffrey said.

"We have not announced a version 6 of WebSphere Portal Express," he added. "We've said publicly we would bring Workplace Services Express and WebSphere Portal Express together, but we didn't say when."

IBM's Express products are pared down for simplicity and easy installation, which meant taking away a lot of options, according to Caffrey.

The WebSphere Portal Server software is available for Linux, Windows and various Unix platforms. A Z/OS version is slated to come out later on.

The new portal comes in a 20-user pack for $2,500 or $50,000 per processor with a year of support. The full WebSphere Enable version costs $95,000 per processor.

Over time, that pricing will be tweaked as part of IBM's new Value Unit pricing model. Under the plan, middleware prices will be adjusted upward as users upgrade to faster, more powerful processors.

Oracle did a similar thing with its Power Unit pricing a few years ago, but the software company didn't signal the change in advance. Many customers weren't pleased.

IBM's first pricing changes under Value Units will occur when Intel unveils its Clovertown quad-core processor in the fourth quarter, according to an IBM spokesman.

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