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IBM broadens on-demand software push

A new program is intended to help software developers lease applications to companies, as part of Big Blue's drive to establish on-demand computing.

IBM is launching a new program intended to help independent software developers lease their applications to companies, as part of its push for on-demand computing.

Under the on-demand concept, powerful computer networks and other technological advancements will let companies buy computing power the way they now buy electricity.

The tech giant last month set up an in-house On-Demand group and pledged to spend $10 billion on research and development, company initiatives and acquisitions to promote the idea. And it's not alone: Hewlett-Packard and Sun Microsystems are making similar pushes.

IBM's new Application Enablement Program, announced Thursday, is intended to help third-party software developers sell their products on demand. Teams from IBM will work with the developers to enable, test and distribute applications that can then be sold to customers over a network.

The company has already signed deals with Adexa, Entrust, MRO Software and Portal. Financial terms of the deals were not released.

Companies will still be able to customize the third-party software. Customization and integration of the application can be provided by either the software developer or IBM Business Consulting Services.

IBM said the new models should also be able to cut the cost of distributing the software.