IBM Acquires Maker Of Thin Servers - InformationWeek

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IBM Acquires Maker Of Thin Servers

IBM acquired Whistle Communications Inc. today in an effort to increase its E-business presence in the small-business market, IBM officials say. Whistle will become a subsidiary of IBM and will fall under its Personal Systems division. Terms of the deal were not disclosed.

IBM plans to combine Whistle's thin-server product line with its own services, applications, and financial options, providing a package that will let companies of five to 100 employees enter the E-business market.

John Hamm, CEO and president of Whistle, said the company's InterJet line of thin servers "gives every employee LAN-based E-mail, Web access, and security." IBM plans to position Whistle's product line as an offering for small businesses requiring basic connectivity--Web access, E-mail, firewalls, and Web-site design and hosting--without the burden of multiple Internet service provider connections. The Whistle products will also serve as a platform for IBM to deliver additional Web services, such as collaboration tools and simple supply-chain management, IBM officials say.

IBM plans to hold pricing on Whistle's line in the $2,000-to-$3,500 range in the short term. Eventually, IBM could bundle the products with IBM desktops, creating an end-to-end package for companies with less than 100 employees, according to Greg Adams, VP of marketing in IBM's small-business division.

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