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When IBM announced last week a new business solution for the small and medium market, some technology reporters called it an iPod for the business world. IBM calls it the Smart Cube (just one aspect of a larger IBM Smart Business solution) – described by IBM as an appliance that comes prepackaged with  applications needed to run a small or medium business including email, calendaring, security and finances.

IBM and Intuit have collaborated on the IBM Intuit Smart Cube.  The Smart Cube is a mini that comes bundled with QuickBooks® Enterprise Solutions. When a business owner purchases an IBM Intuit Smart Cube (starting at around $8,000), he’ll be able to start using QuickBooks Enterprise, pre-bundled in the Smart Cube, in under an hour. IBM says clients will just follow four easy steps and won’t need a manual or a CD to install and configure all of the technology that is pre-installed in the Smart Cube.  Software updates and daily back-ups will occur automatically.  

IBM’s Smart Business solution and its agreement with Intuit is about simplifying the technology and business requirements of small and medium businesses. We know that our client’s requirements in this market are unique. Owners of small and medium businesses often times feel challenged when it comes to Information Technology and Accounting.  Many cannot afford or place importance on hiring a full-time Information Technology and/or Accounting personnel.  That is why we, tax and accounting professionbals, are value-added to for our clients on a fractional basis.  Solutions like the Intuit IBM Smart Cube fall in line with those clients needs and provide ways for us to offer economical options to upgrade their technology and accounting software.

“Intuit introduced QuickBooks Enterprise Solutions because mid-market companies need a powerful financial management solution that scales with their growth and doesn’t require costly purchase, implementation and training investments,” said Gary Wiessinger, director of product management, Intuit. “QuickBooks Enterprise Solutions on the IBM Smart Business platform is another great step in delivering the right mix of power and ease mid-market companies need. Working with IBM, we have delivered a turn-key accounting appliance that provides all the functionality clients need, without the IT cost and complexity of competitive solutions.”

Small and medium businesses will be able to purchase the new IBM, Intuit Smart Cube exclusively from Value Added Resellers (VARs). My company, Technology In A Box, LLC, worked closely with IBM before the launch of IBM Smart Business and the IBM Intuit Smart Cube. We have found that our small and medium business clients are desperate for a simple, easy to use solution that will meet their IT requirements.   This solution provides one more option for clients to get them on the latest technology and reduce their downtime during a transition to new software and servers.

Clients will be able to log on to the IBM Smart Market on the Web. At this one-stop marketplace, they will be able to browse, rate and download other applications for their Smart Cube. In addition to Intuit, 16 other Independent Solution Vendors (ISVs) will be selling 48 business applications to clients across a range of industries including healthcare, telecommunications and manufacturing. With the IBM Smart Desk, clients will have a web-enabled dashboard they can use as a single-point-of-contact for Smart Business maintenance, from updating applications automatically or subscribing to remote application services, such as managed security and hosted back up and recovery.   It is unprecedented for a small to mid-sized business to be able to utilize IBM and their resources as the backbone for their Information Technology.

Small business owner Joel McDowell chose the IBM Intuit Smart Cube for his residential design, build company. In a matter of hours, the co-owner of the Dream Builder Company in Sioux Falls, South Dakota had his company up and running with the Smart Business hardware, software and applications, including QuickBooks Enterprise Solutions and an Asterisk voice-over-IP phone system from Digium.

“We chose the IBM and Intuit appliance because it doesn’t take an army of experts to implement, manage or build upon, helping lower the cost of doing business and saving time. In fact, we expect the solution to save us $30,000 a year in operating costs,” said McDowell. “We feel incredibly confident knowing that we have an industry-leading accounting solution backed by a single company: IBM.”

For those of us in the accounting technology world, we can only hope the IBM Intuit Smart Cube can become as much a part of our lives as the iPod to simplify our lives as well as our clients. That’d be music to our ears!  For more information, feel free to visit our website at: http://www.technologyinabox.net/ibm.html

For more information on IBM and IBM Smart Business, visit http://www.ibm.com and http://www.ibm.com/smartmarket.

For more information on Intuit and QuickBooks Enterprise Solutions, visit http://www.enterprisesuite.com.

Last modified on Sunday, 02 June 2013
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