ARMONK, New York, November 12 /PRNewswire/ -- IBM today announces it has received IDC's first SMB Excellence Award for the effectiveness of its Express Advantage program in helping mid-market businesses thrive in a rapidly changing business environment. IBM, the only firm to receive awards in two categories, was also recognized in the Innovative Alliances category for the Intuit QuickBooks Enterprise Solution via IBM Smart Cube.

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IBM's Express Advantage program was recognized in the category of New Application Approaches -- and was awarded for excellence in product development and promotion. Express Advantage includes IBM's broad portfolio of targeted hardware, software and services that have met stringent criteria, including affordability, ease of implementation and ownership to ensure their value to midmarket businesses. Express Advantage also incorporates IBM's Business Partner ecosystem, industry insights and connections to help midsize companies succeed in today's smaller, flatter and smarter world.

Mid-market companies typically have extraordinary IT needs, but not extraordinary budgets to meet those needs. IBM, through its Express Advantage program, has established and nurtured a portfolio of technology resources that leverages a variety of development resources across technology areas to meet the sometimes conflicting needs of General Business customers, said IDC's Raymond Boggs, Vice President of SMB Research.

For example, this Fall IBM added Cognos Express to its Express Advantage portfolio -- the first integrated reporting, analysis, planning, budgeting and forecasting solution purpose-built and priced for midsize companies.

IBM has been recognized by IDC for its breadth and depth of offerings and solutions for the midmarket that help them to do more with less, manage and mitigate risk, and take advantage of flexible delivery choices like cloud computing, said Marc Dupaquier, IBM General Manager, Global Midmarket.

Intuit QuickBooks Enterprise Solution via IBM Smart Cube was also recognized in the Innovative Alliances category for excellence in product development, distribution and delivery.

The Smart Cube appliance combines Intuit's QuickBooks Enterprise Solutions financial management software with IBM hardware, middleware, and technical support. As part of IBM's Smart Business initiative, SMBs that purchase a Smart Cube also gain access to Smart Market, a Web-enabled marketplace for browsing, rating, and downloading applications from a growing network of independent software vendors.

The solution is targeted to firms that aren't quite ready for cloud-based solutions as well as forward-looking firms that are prepared to outsource a growing share of their IT needs. In partnering with Intuit, whose accounting software is currently used by more than half of firms with fewer than 100 employees, and adding distribution through Ingram Micro, IBM has expanded its reach into the mid-market.

Other award categories included: Market Segmentation/Customer Targeting, Software-as-a-Service and Cloud Computing for SMBs, Streamlining/Enhancing Customer Engagement and Technology Deployment.

For full profiles of the SMB initiatives of the 16 award-winning companies, please see the recently published document, 2009 IDC SMB Excellence Awards - Innovative Product , Marketing, Support and Promotions Products to Enhance Customer Appeal and Competitive Success (IDC #220604).

About IBM

Learn more about new midsized business solutions from IBM.

About IDC

The IDC SMB Excellence Awards are granted to technology providers who in IDC's view are serving the SMB market in innovative ways, providing advanced technology capabilities to firms with fewer than 1000 employees. Nominees for the IDC SMB Excellence Award are evaluated on the basis of three key criteria: the creation of products and/or programs that specifically address the unique needs of SMBs; the business implications of these products or programs for the nominated firm; and the competitive impact of these products or programs. The award recipients are selected by IDC's SMB Research team in consultation with the IDC analysts that follow the relevant technology market associated with these products or programs. The full report is IDC#220604.

IDC is the premier global provider of market intelligence, advisory services, and events for the information technology, telecommunications, and consumer technology markets. To learn more about IDC, please visit

Contact: Jennifer Clemente IBM Communications +1-919-418-6169


CONTACT: Jennifer Clemente, IBM Communications, +1-919-418-6169,