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Big Market in Smaller Businesses: IBM Customizes WebSphere

Big Market in Smaller Businesses: IBM Customizes WebSphere

(October 24, 2002) - By the year 2005, small and medium-sized businesses will be investing $300 billion in computer-related purchases, more than half of which will go toward software and services, according to the consulting firm Access Markets International (AMI) Partners, Inc.

Anticipating big potential in these small and medium-sized businesses, IBM has introduced a new version of its portal software, designed specifically for that market. A scaled-down version of IBM's WebSphere portal platform, WebSphere Portal - Express is intended to help smaller businesses customize page layouts, add new portlets or new users, or completely change the portal's interface.

Priced at $77 per intranet user (with a limit of 2,000 users per Portal Server), WebSphere Portal - Express offers full support for portal personalization, campaign management, single sign-on across applications, authentication, authorization, and communication between portlets. WebSphere Portal - Express can be run from just one server, a potential advantage for smaller businesses lacking multiple servers or a large IT staff.

WebSphere Portal - Express is ready for Web services. It includes an LDAP directory, but alternatives such as Microsoft Active Directory and Lotus Domino Directory are supported as options. It also offers a choice of databases.

A companion release, WebSphere Portal - Express Plus, adds instant messaging, chat, group calendaring, task management, document libraries, and other features.

A new WebSphere Portal certification program, along with an on-line training system and expanded curriculum of regional classes, are being introduced to help support this midmarket product.

Larger firms may find this product useful as well, according to Larry Bowden, vice president, IBM Portals Solutions Software Group. "In addition to small and medium-sized businesses, WebSphere Portal - Express is expected to have strong appeal to larger corporate departments or line-of-business units desiring a simple, easily managed portal," said Bowden. Forrester Research says that nearly 60 percent of companies will have a portal initiative underway this year.

WebSphere Portal - Express and WebSphere Portal - Express Plus are planned to be available worldwide for electronic download on October 31, 2002.

More Stories By WebSphere News Desk

WebSphere Journal News Desk trawls the world of e-commerce technologies for news and innovations and presents IT professionals with updates on technology trends, products, and services in the WebSphere family.

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