IT FILE – EDS aims small.

Services giant EDS is planning to move into the small to medium-sized enterprise market with a service comprising web hosting, managed storage and desktop management.

The service will be aimed at small companies, rather than the large enterprises and public authority contracts like the Inland Revenue that EDS is better known for.

The web hosting package is already available, with the other services due to be launched over the next three months.

EDS will offer five levels of service, with prices from $1000 (£700) a month. In the storage market, it will partner EMC.

John Meyer, European president at EDS, admitted that the move was a departure for the company.

‘The large deals have reinforced our image as an elephant hunter,’ he said.

It is also planning to enter business process management, including taking over the back-office operations of banks.

‘Firms want to work with a third party like EDS. They are looking at processes that are not core competencies, where they can only improve with economies of scale. They have to decide whether they are in the IT or banking business,’ said Meyer. ‘We will see a big push on the commercial side in the UK.’

The competition was greeted with derision by the traditional channel of suppliers to the SME market. ‘I hope EDS does a better job than it did with some of its other contracts,’ sneered one reseller.

Currently, two thirds of the company’s business in the UK is with government departments, and only one third with the private sector.

Meyer also revealed that EDS has signed a deal with Coca-Cola to manage its desktops across Europe.

The company has recently appointed Bill Thomas as its UK managing director, following the departure of David Courtley in June.

Steve Ranger is a writer for Computing

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