Companies can spend millions of dollars on ad and marketing campaigns, only to see them fail miserably. IBM, however, is not only spending significant dollars toward promoting their services that help the little guy get ahead (with their ebusiness ads), but it's also got the formidable JP Frenza behind its web integrator program. JP is taking charge and changing almost every aspect of the way IBM does business with local merchants, so much so that he thinks it will be almost unrecognizable. It is a kinder, gentler IBM, for sure. He won't do an event in another town unless there's a representative of the local community involved.
And for one of their holiday soirees, they partnered up with AlleyCat News for a wine tasting at the Chelsea Wine Vault on Thursday, December 15th. Choosing only wines from small vineyards, to once again get across that IBM is helping small businesses, guests could sample a white wine from Long Island or one of two reds from the States. Two wines from Spain, France and Italy rounded out the offerings and kept guests buzzing. Justin Model (PredictIt.com) was chatting with Alan Rosenberg (Deputy Director, Management Information Systems for the Mayor's office) and Anna Wheatley (Editor-in-Chief, AlleyCat News). Guess what? Alan gave me a scoop and confided to me that the Mayor's office computer system is in a sorry state, but that he's a confirmed Palm Pilot VII owner and user.
Gregory Belmont (Grand Central Holdings) told me about one of his new partnerships with uslaw.com and about how he is spending some time chatting with Count Vincent Grimaldi, who recommended the California Cabernet and helps entrepreneurs get their businesses off the ground.
Stefani Feist, as in feisty, was chatting it up with Margaret Flood of AlleyCat News. On my way out I met Paul Forster of Jobsinthemoney.com (based in Austin, TX and NYC).
If IBM keeps up this sort of approach, they'll go from being "Big Blue" or "Big Brother" to "Blues brother."