I hate to stir from my long blogging hibernation with a posting like this, but last week I encountered the results of a study that I found, quite frankly, shocking. For years, Business Partners and others in the Yellowverse have harped on IBM about the company's marketing to and perception within the SMB market. At times, there has been productive reaction, but as often, dismissal of the severity of the issue.
American City Business Journals, publisher of local business-oriented newspapers across the country, conducted a survey of over 1700 owners and executives of small businesses (under 500 employees) to determine the most recognizable brands among SMBs. The survey brings IBM's small business problem into stark relief. Of course, most of us would probably be unsurprised to see IBM behind Microsoft (#8) or Apple (#2, iPhone #5) or sadly even Dell (#9), Blackberry (#12) and Intel (#13). But to say I was surprised to find IBM didn't even crack the top twenty-five would be an understatement.
I happened to be talking this weekend with a friend at a non-profit and the subject came up. His perception of IBM was one of being over-priced and completely irrelevant to their needs; after all, he's not looking to buy a Smarter Planet for his organization, just affordable, approachable technology solutions. IBM certainly has solutions for SMB, but he and the survey respondents seem mostly unaware of them. Smarter Planet jab aside, I won't beat the drum for advertising as the sole solution; winning mindshare in the market is certainly more complicated and multi-dimensional than that. I just hope someone, somewhere in IBM is looking at the small and medium picture, as it were, and this survey provides a clarion call to put a priority on the market.
The preceeding weekend entailed a full day commitment entertaining a friend that was in from out of town and then continued work on taxes as they were due on Tuesday of course (and I had delayed knowing I had to pay). First thing Monday morning, not long after the Viriginia Tech tragedy had begun, I found out my paternal grandfather had died. Needless to say that caused a fair amount of chaos in what was already looking like a busy week. After returning from the funeral Wednesday night, I woke up Thursday not feeling well and got progressively sicker through the day.
This past weekend already had a minimum full-day commitment (roadtrip) for the christening of my godson which I had to attend while still sick. Because the sinus problems have continued and I've felt very drained for most of this week, I'm still catching up with blog reading at this point, much less writing, given there was some major action in the Domino Blogosphere last week while I was pretty much completely out of touch.
The good news is the primary project I've been working on is drawing to a close, and I'm going to be able to catch up on some of the other projects I've been neglecting, so there should be much more activity here from this point on. I hope everyone has a great weekend.
Ok, if you read my blog, you probably read Rocky's so you probably already heard that Bob Balaban is blogging now. No, not that Bob Balaban, but rather the guy who brought Lotusscript to Notes. Since his new job at IBM is to make Domino a "kick-ass development platform again." Because I am developer, his blog may very well be my new favorite in no time at all.
Also new to the blogosphere over at RezAir is an old colleague and friend who has been working with Notes/Domino since way back in the version 3 days just like myself. As you'll see, in addition to being a regular geek, Marc's a bit of a flight geek too. Perhaps he'll fit some Notes entries in between his air travel posts.
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