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IBM partners launch on-demand services

A number of software vendors will use Big Blue technology to make their human resources, accounting and marketing applications available as a monthly service.

IBM has lined up several companies to offer their software to customers on demand using new Big Blue technology.

The tech titan's new "computing on demand" program, launched last month, is intended to allow companies to buy information technology the way they purchase electricity, paying a monthly bill for services.

Earlier this month, IBM announced a program to help its resellers and software partners get on board.

The company said Friday that on-demand applications for human resources, accounting and marketing are now available from HRSmart, Intacct and Onyx. Employease, which makes HR software, will have a program available in the first quarter of 2003.

Those vendors are focused on smaller businesses than IBM traditionally targets with its software products, said Mike Riegel, marketing executive for IBM's e-business hosting group.

"We're not in the applications business. Particularly in the midmarket business, the (independent software vendors) are the cornerstone of the opportunity for us," he said.

The software companies did not give specific prices for their software. But Intacct said its accounting applications could start at $50 per user per month.