A new independent report out of technology industry analyst firm Forrester Research, Inc., assigns the IBM (NYSE: IBM) Web site (www.ibm.com) for small- and mid-size businesses four and a half out of five stars.
In the February 23 report, ibm.com tied for the highest rating received among 30 technology companies reviewed.
Forrester examined three sites including IBM's mid-size business portal (http://www-304.ibm.com/jct03004c/businesscenter/smb/us/en/), the small-business portal (http://www-304.ibm.com/jct03004c/businesscenter/smb/us/en/smallbusiness) and the new IBM Smart Market site (http://www.ibm.com/smartmarket/us/en/), which is organized by solution area.
"IBM remains deeply committed to the SMB space and making it easier for our customers to find and use information via the Web," said Leslie Reiser, manager of Interactive Marketing for IBM's General Business group. "In addition to our long standing mid-sized business and small business portals, the new Smart Market provides an easy way for small- and mid-size organizations to find, buy and manage all of the applications they need to run a smarter business."
The Forrester report, compiled by Tim Harmon, Peter Burris and Zachary Reiss-Davis, is titled, "A New SMB Market Phoenix Is Rising." It includes evaluations of Web sites based on 12 criteria, including content, navigation, links, and usability.
The report states that "relative to large enterprises, smaller businesses shed fewer jobs in a recession and start hiring earlier as recessions abate." It also found that the small businesses that help catalyze the recovery this time around will be started by tech-savvy professionals who start their businesses with technology investments and a Millennial workforce that has grown up on mobile phones and social networks.
Based on this, the report concludes that "Tech vendors that want to win in the new SMB space must provide sites with dedicated SMB solution sections -- or, better still, micro sites specific to the SMB audience."