SMB Tech Roll Up: IBM Targets Small Biz, Xerox Buys IBS

6 minute read
David Roe avatar

Our new weekly column -- SMB Tech Roll Up -- provides you with news about the small and medium business sector, focusing on document management, collaboration and Enterprise 2.0 topics.

This week sees IBM promising more for SMBs, Xerox making moves on the European document management market,  IT managers facing new pressures to produce results and other interesting news from key SMB players.

IBM Targets SMBs with New Lotus Foundations

At Lotusphere 2010, IBM (news, site) announced that in the future it would spend more time working with SMBs by creating solutions integrated with Lotus Foundations to help them address information technology issues.

Lotus Foundations is IBM's solution that offers SMBs easier collaborationtools including email, office applications, file sharing, and back up and recovery. IBM says that whatever tools they don't have they'll develop, but that already most of them are there.

Planned improvements include better disaster recovery with theaddition of desktop and remote off-site backups and expanded remote management functionality.

It almost feels as if IBMand AIIM had consulted given the later's growing concern about information management and unstructured content.

[Editor's Note: See our new weekly column on Document Management focusing on major news events, research and trends: Document Management Roll-Up: Demand for Business Information Managers Growing]

Xerox Extends Document Management Reach In Europe

Xerox has extended the reach of its document management software by the purchase of Irish-based managed print services provider Irish Business Systems (IBS) for US$ 31million.

Xerox says this latest deal willcontinue its expansion into the SMB market in Ireland.  Ireland, with its burgeoning IT sector, is more often than not a stop off point for US companies making in-roads into Europe, and it seems likely that this latest is part of a strategy to corner that wider SMB market.

This is the second Xerox (news, site) acquisition in Europe in the past two years and underlines its plans for a bigger piece of the document management market there.

IBS, which has eight offices, is the largest independent supplier of digital imaging and printing solutions in Ireland. Xerox currently employs over 700 people in Ireland.

Meanwhile, Xerox gained European Union regulatory approval for its US$ 5.5 billion takeover of Affiliated Computer Services Inc in it is first move into the outsourcing business.

The cash-and-stock deal is Xerox's biggest acquisition ever and marks the first major deal by its new chief executive, Ursula Burns.

More Pressure on IT Managers

More pressure on IT Managers. Hardly unexpected IT managers would say, but this time it is confirmed in new research by Gartner (news, site) that shows CIO’s are shifting their focus from cost cutting to achieving better results based on enterprise and IT productivity.

This is going to be particularly telling for SMBs as previous research has shown that their business requirements continue to become more complex, and their reliance on technology is increasing.

SMBs, where technologies are being the least exploited, are going to come under increased pressure to produce collaborative and innovative solutions that take advantage of the new “lighter-weight” services based and social media technologies, including virtualization, cloud computing and Web 2.0 social computing, the research says.

Contained in the new Gartner EXP Worldwide Survey of nearly 1,600 CIOs worldwide, the bad news is that IT spending is currently only at 2005 levels; the good newsis that we are finally on the way out of the recession.

Prism to Push Doc Applications Through Oce Partners

Prism Software Corporation (news, site), a vendor of print and document management software products to the SMB market has teamed up with Oce (news, site) which provides document management technology and services internationally, to sell its deskSystem and deskForm applications through Oce’s partner program.

Both products build upon Oce's document workflow solutions. They will now be available along with Prism deskRecord software as PC-based applications that provide document personalization, workflow customization and document archival and retrieval solutions.

Learning Opportunities

The deal aims to provide an affordable workflow solution that is scalable and easily upgraded to server-based versions, such as Prism DocRecord, Prism DocSystem and Prism DocForm.

WIPG Joins Westbrook’s Partner Program

Westbrook Technologies (news, site), the developer of Fortisenterprise document management software has announced that the INTPRO Group (IPG) has joined its partner network.

Headquartered in Woburn, Massachusetts, IPG has extensive experience in enterprise document management will resell Westbrook’s Fortis document management software throughout New England.Fortis captures, stores and organizes documents and other forms of data, images, video and audio files as well as enabling automated workflow and collaboration.

Amongst the Fortis line that New England will benefit from is FortisBlue, a thin clientthat captures, archives, searches, annotates, retrieves and safeguards paper and electronic documents. FortisBlue was released last October and is targeted specifically at the SMB market.

Archivo Takes BPM To UK Market

With Gartner (news, site) research showing that business process management (BPM)and business solutions in the cloud are going to be really big business in the UK SMB market in the coming years, business process automation provider Archivo is looking to get an early run at the market by setting up private consultations in February and March for companies considering their BPM options.

During the dedicated 2 hour slots, Archivo will identify how and where companies might cut costs by deploying BPM software in SMBs, and where efficiencies can be gained.

Ok, so it’s probably really a glorified sales pitch, but even so remember what AIIM said about the need for a comprehensive information management plan for your company.

If you’re in the UK, this just might well be a good start.

ePaperless Solutions Moves East

A new partnershipbetween Scantronix.net, a vendor of electronic medical record (EMR) scanning, digitization and document scanning services, and ePaperlessSolutions, a provider of EMR management, will see Scantronix become the exclusive provider of medical records scanning services for ePaperless Solutions’ US East Coast clients.

Scantronix was founded in 1996 as a medical records service provider servicing  New York City hospitals and medical centres, but since 2002 has expanded toinclude SMBs in all vertical sectors.

ePaperless Solutions is a Los Angeles California company dedicated to installing, monitoring, planning and managing the network infrastructure of EMR systems. 

ePaperless Solutions works with medical practices  to help them comply with standards such as Sarbanes-Oxley, HIPAA, PIPEDA and NORPA.

A privately held and profitable company, ePaperless Solutions helps medical professionals move across to EMR systems.