IBM expands into tailored packages

IBM users have given a cautious welcome to its announcement last week that it will restructure its £7.5bn software business to...

IBM users have given a cautious welcome to its announcement last week that it will restructure its £7.5bn software business to offer tailored products.

Next month IBM will unveil a selection of middleware packages including insurance, banking, financial services, automotive, retail, consumer packaged goods, utilities, telecomm-unications, electronics, healthcare, government and life sciences.

A spokeswoman for IBM said, "The next area of value lies in further automating repeatable processes specific to industry."

Ray Titcombe, chairman of the IBM Computer Users Association, said the restructuring would help to reduce the amount of work needed to integrate IBM's products with other IT systems.

Tim Jennings, research director of Butler Group, said the approach was a smart move but warned that it could take time to filter down to IBM's software developers and might create confusion about how the company works.

Ian Wesley, director of Ovum's software evaluation programme, said, "IBM sells horizontal software that works in any industry. It does not sell software released specifically for vertical markets. IT directors should treat this with a pinch of salt."

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