SMBs care as much about who sells them tech products and supports them as they do about the products themselves.
Vendors know this. Thus Oracle and IBM, two of the tech heavyweights in active pursuit of SMB business, are tweaking their models to make life easier for the partners that help them service SMBs.
In Oracle's case, it will allow solution providers to acquire products like Oracle Standard Edition, Standard Edition One and 11g directly from authorized distributors rather than from Oracle -- meaning they avoid added red tape and fees. And some providers would rather work with distributors to avoid the chance that Oracle's direct sales reps could go after their customers.
Authorized distributors Ingram Micro, Tech Data and Arrow Enterprise Computing Solutions will provide Oracle software licenses, training and support for solution providers, reports CRN.
This approach "takes away the barriers that have kept VARs away from Oracle," an Ingram Micro executive tells CRN.
IBM is reorganizing its Systems and Technology Group, reports InfoWorld, creating one sales group for large enterprises and another for businesses with fewer than 1,000 employees. Each of Big Blue's 220 global sales territories will have a dedicated sales manager who focuses specifically on SMBs.
With this approach, IBM's Global Business Partners that sell multiple IBM product lines will work with a single manager rather than with different managers for different products, says an IBM exec. "(Before), a partner had to go to five different IBM people in a territory. Now they just have one."