IBM has launched a new software development kit designed to cut costs in the creation, deployment and maintenance of PCs across networks.
ImageUltra Builder is being promoted as a way for channel partners to add value to their services and increase margins.
Goran Wibran, IBM's TCO solutions program manager, said the new kit will save time and effort as well as cutting costs in the image-building process -- creation, deployment and installation.
Wibran claimed image creation has traditionally taken up to four weeks but will now be possible within four days.
He added that the number of systems one person could set up in a day, which had been limited to approximately four because of the complexities surrounding deployment and installation, would be increased to 20 or 30 with ImageUltra Builder.
"It makes our business partners more flexible and moves them up the food chain. It is an easy product to use and will allow them to generate income by broadening their service offerings," Wibram said.
"Channel partners that have outsourced the imaging process from large enterprise customers will be able to increase their margins because they will be delivering a better service at a lower price."
ImageUltra Builder V1.0, which is only available for IBM PCs, is designed to create custom images that eliminate the need to rebuild from scratch, reduce image compatibility hardware testing, separate applications according to department or division, and automate software application installation.
V1.1, which will be available within the next six weeks, will be able to operate on multiple platforms. "We might not like it but we realise our business partners sell other stuff apart from IBM," said Tim Gunnell, PC division brand manager, IBM A/NZ.
The original ImageUltra, which was developed 18 months ago, required IT departments to work directly with IBM's Imaging Technology Centre.