IBM today unveiled a bundle of software, hardware, and Internet access and support services that it says will lower the barrier of entry into E-commerce for small and medium-sized businesses.
WebConnections will provide customers with their own private network, complete with Internet access, E-mail, 24-hour help-desk services, and built-in firewall security. The package includes an Inter Jet II thin server developed by Whistle Communications, a company IBM acquired in June.
One analyst says the announcement underscores IBM's commitment to the market for E-commerce products and services among smaller businesses. "In May, IBM's Small Business Program promised customers competitively priced products and services, customized support, and corresponding E-business tools necessary to maintain their competitive edge in an ever-developing Web-centric market," says Joseph Villarosa an independent industry analyst. "The WebConnections announcement, coupled with IBM's strategic acquisition of Whistle Communications, is a perfect example of how IBM has not only fulfilled their promise, but has surpassed their original pledge to small-business customers."
Pricing starts at $99 per month for the WebConnections silver package, with a one start-up fee of $299.