SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) - IBM is set announce plans on Friday to sell software that helps small businesses recover from computer crashes, expanding a technology it first developed for large companies.
The software, called IBM Tivoli Continuous Data Protection for Files, automatically copies data as soon as it's entered or changed, allowing users to quickly retrieve lost information such as text or customer lists.
IBM plans to start selling the program September 16 at $35 per laptop or desktop and $995 for each server processor, the chips which run high-powered computers typically used by businesses.
Computer servers used by small businesses of up to 100 employees typically have two to four such processors, an IBM spokeswoman said.
A company with 1,000 employees may have at least 50 server processors, said Dianne McAdam, an industry analyst at DataMobility Group, a Nashua, New Hampshire consulting firm.
International Business Machines Corp. of Armonk, New York is expanding its business by targeting companies with less than 1,000 employees amid slowing growth in IBM's traditional business of serving large customers such as banks and insurers.
While many big companies already have sophisticated data backup systems, small and medium-sized firms have been slower to protect their data, McAdam said.
"The enterprise market is not seeing the high growth rate that we are seeing in the small and medium-sized business market," McAdam said in an interview. Smaller companies "have got to find a better way to protect their data. There's a growing awareness."
Unlike competitors such as EMC Corp. (EMC.N: Quote, Profile, Research) and the Veritas business of Symantec Corp. (SYMC.O: Quote, Profile, Research) whose crash recovery systems save data several times a day, the IBM software backs up information continuously, within seconds of its being stored, said Ron Riffe, IBM's director of storage software strategy, in an interview.
Small and medium-sized businesses are contending with a "data avalanche" vulnerable to computer viruses or crashes, Riffe said. IBM's program will especially help businesses whose employees spend a lot of time out of the office working from laptops, as well as employees who work from home, he said. source