IBM plugs pay-per-month PC programme

2 Oct 2003

IBM has unveiled a new personal computing package aimed at Irish SMEs that covers the ownership and support of a PC for a monthly, per-user cost. The service level deal from IBM Desktop Management Services is aimed at reducing the cost of ownership of PCs in SMEs as well as the complexity of managing the systems.

IBM has quoted a guide price of €55 per month, which works out at €660 per annum; this compares favourably with estimates from analyst firm the Meta Group, which calculated average desktop maintenance at between US$2,000 and US$5,000 per year. According to IBM, this means savings averaging at more than €1,000 a year per personal computer on a flexible, pay-per-seat service that includes hardware, software, services and financing.

The per-seat price will be calculated on factors such as the number of locations and remote users and the mix of desktop to notebook machines. The fee of €55 per month is based on an IBM estimate of 200 desktops across three locations.

IBM Ireland’s Tom Byrne said that it is estimated that approximately 80pc of the total cost of owning a desktop PC is incurred in ongoing PC administration. As a result, the offer suits SMEs that want to reduce the cost of ownership without upfront capital investment. Support of IBM technology and services will also improve security and enable predictability in budgeting forecasts, he said.

The offer includes support from IBM technical services professionals, pre-installed ThinkVantage technology software tools and includes the option of IBM printers and online education modules. The systems include IBM ThinkPad notebook and ThinkCentre desktop computers and eServer xSeries Intel based servers.

Byrne said: “With a high percentage of Irish business being categorised as SMBs, this is a significant announcement for local businesses. The potential cost savings are extremely high and will mean that we are able to offer an extremely competitive service to small business that need lower cost of ownership without paying significant cash upfront, and a less complex approach to managing the desktop environment. They will also benefit from predictable budget forecasting, improved security of data and overall end-user productivity,” he said.

By John Kennedy