The deal, announced Wednesday, lets IBM
Internet access along with its Small
Business WebConnections, geared to transform bricks-and-mortar
companies into successful application service providers.
David Struwas, DSL.net president and chief executive officer, said his
company’s partnership to IBM brings a complete package to the customer.
“DSL.net is pleased to partner with IBM to help small businesses grow into
e-businesses,” Struwas said. “DSL.net and IBM share a philosophy of
providing complete, packaged technology solutions to small businesses,
allowing them to exploit the Internet to maximum competitive advantage
while at the same time reducing their IT and administrative burdens. Our
broadband services are the perfect addition to the IBM Small Business
WebConnections program, and allow IBM to offer a turnkey solution to the
problem of fast, cost-effective Internet access for small businesses. This
arrangement will expand the market opportunity for DSL.net.”
IBM is offering DSL in five ranked classes from 128Kbps rates to 1Mbps,
ranging in price from $219 to $669. And the fact that its connectivity
services are now outsourced to DSL.net washes IBM’s hands clean of any
provisioning of its own.
DSL.net opened up shop in 1998 with a focused business plan to cater to the
emerging ASP industry and small- to medium-sized businesses, with an
emphasis on DSL coverage in cities with a population less than one million.
The ISP quickly expanded operations to its current coverage of 300 cities
in 45 states around the U.S. Expansion was mainly through acquisition, as
in the case of Minneapolis-based Vector Internet Services, Inc., which was
assimilated in late May, and Santa Cruz, Calif.-based Tycho Networks Inc.,
in December, 1999.
Mike Braun, IBM Global Small Business general manager, said the partnership
with DSL.net gives his company a chance to sell high-speed solutions in
smaller cities, many of which don’t have more than one DSL provider.
“DSL.net’s strong, fast bandwidth coverage in secondary cities will enable
many more small businesses to take full advantage of IBM’s Small Business
WebConnections service,” Braun said. “Together, we will provide small
business customers with the most comprehensive and easy-to-use offering to
help them better harness the opportunities the Internet offers.”
The Internet service provider touts its high-speed offerings including
virtual private networking, local area networking, e-commerce consulting
and Web hosting. DSL.net is even a card-carrying member of the ASP Industry Consortium.
The company’s rapid expansion throughout the U.S. attracted the attention
of Microsoft Corp.
, which was looking to snare small- and mid-sized businesses to
its MSN business portal. A $15 million
investment paved the way to an agreement providing the co-branded MSN
business portal to DSL.net business clients.