IBM to take product lifecycle to SMBs

IBM will introduce PLM Express, the next product in its growing line of midmarket software products.

IBM will introduce PLM Express, the next product in its growing line of midmarket software products.

Aimed at manufacturers, PLM (product lifecycle management) Express is IBM's first industry-specific express product. The technology is intended to enable collaboration on product development between suppliers and their customers and suppliers.

Like other express products, PLM Express draws on more robust products in IBM's enterprise software portfolio to offer enterprise-type capabilities to small and medium-sized businesses (SMBs), with additional features tailored for SMB needs.

PLM Express borrows technology from IBM's Catia suite of product design and engineering applications and from its Smarteam PLM data management software.

Express software is available both to customers and to independent software vendors. IBM hoped they will embed Express products within their own applications.

In June, the company introduced a flurry of new offerings, expanding the brand beyond software by adding hardware, services and financing programs.

The Express portfolio is part of a company-wide IBM drive to increase its presence in the SMB market. With the slow economy stalling IT sales among large enterprise customers, analysts say the SMB market is showing stronger growth, prompting a number of IT suppliers to boost their offerings for smaller organisations.

Read more on IT for small and medium-sized enterprises (SME)