IT giants team up to target SMEs


6 May 2003

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Intel, HP, Microsoft and other IT and business organisations, including Eurochambres (the Association of European Chambers of Commerce and Industry), Cisco Systems, SAP, Symantec, Tiscali and Vodafone today announced the formation of the first European Small and Medium Enterprise (SME) Vendor Forum.

The group has pledged to dedicate money and resources to creating simple, cross-business solutions with the aim of delivering increased value to SME customers.
To create these solutions, greater emphasis will be placed on co-developing go-to-market strategies and channel programs to help forum members become more efficient, while better serving customers and partners.

Initial areas of co-operation will include closer hardware and software industry alliances and working arrangements, managing the impact of data, image and voice convergence on SME customers and channel partners, and increased financial services to better serve SME customers.

Of course, the initiative isn’t merely for the benefit of SMEs. The IT companies themselves are no doubt hoping for greater sales in the sector. “SME IT spending is on the rise in Europe, far outpacing the overall enterprise IT sector,¨ said Brian Gammage, vice-president of client platforms, at Gartner. “These customers are seeking simple IT solutions that offer real business benefits and prefer to buy through resellers they already know and trust,” he added.

By Dick O’Brien