A Montreal software firm says the cachet of the IBM name eliminated all other contenders when it went looking for a Web hosting partner.

Groupe 2MB named IBM to manage its intranet solution Monday, with Groupe 2MB president Roger Dore stressing the value of an association with IBM. Dore, who worked for Labatt Brewing Co. in the early 1990s when the company was a partner with the National Football League, compared Groupe 2MB’s involvement with IBM to the support the World League of American Football received from the NFL in 1991 and 1992.

“In computer networks, IBM is one of the top companies,” Dore said. “For a small company without that notoriety, it makes a good introduction to be with IBM.”

Dore said naming IBM as its outsourcer will automatically give Groupe 2MB’s clients confidence in the security of the company’s Micro Intranet personal productivity tool. The tool, currently in beta-testing and scheduled for public release in mid-December, is designed to allow groups of users to share and collaborate on multimedia content via any Internet-enabled device anywhere in the world.

“We are working with personal data and if we can not secure them that the environment is well protected, then we could have problems selling our services,” Dore said. “When we had discussions with companies, a lot of them asked us, ‘What will happen to our data if you guys have some trouble down the road?’ One of the answers is that the data will be hosted in the IBM network.”

Dore also cited IBM’s platform speed and the stability of the company as reasons for choosing IBM without second thought.

Jason Bremner, IDC Canada (www.idc.ca) outsourcing and IT utility services senior analyst, said large hosting players like IBM as well as Bell Canada and Telus Corp. have an advantage when it comes to customers looking for these features.

“If you’re looking at things that are going to add cost to provisioning the service, then you’re looking at some of these larger players that can afford it,” he said. “It’s not to say that a smaller company couldn’t offer (IBM’s level of security), but they would have difficulty doing so because of cost.”

Paul Lovell, IBM’s general manager of hosting services, said it is critical for the company to make investments in infrastructure, as well as the people and skills that make it run.

“Customers recognize that if we are investing in that, then we will bring value,” he said.

Dore said being able to rely on its Web hosting company allows Groupe 2MB to focus on the other aspects of its business.

“When you try to start a new company, you have so many difficulties that when you can secure one side, it means you can concentrate your attention to the other important points,” he said.

Share on LinkedIn Share with Google+