IBM Challenges Amazon and

In a move that places the company in direct competition with Amazon (NASDAQ:AMZN) and (NYSE:CRM), International Business Machines (NYSE:IBM) announced Wednesday its plans to take aim at a new market by increasing its efforts to sell cloud computing services to midsize businesses.

To aid in the company’s expansion, IBM has sourced Infor Global Solutions. According to former Oracle (NASDAQ:ORCL) executive and the company’s current CEO Charles Phillips, Global Solutions will be providing financing and marketing support.

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Amazon, considered to be the leader in the market for renting computer power, and, the top seller of customer management software, are formidable rivals; both have found success in the midsize market and are currently expanding their businesses to serve corporations that make up IBM’s customer base.

IBM expects its knowledge of the industry and broad technology services will help the company gain a large of the market, and as Andy Monshaw, IBM’s general manager in charge of small and medium sized businesses, said to the Wall Street Journal, cheaper cloud computing could allow IBM to reach a bigger base of smaller customers.

However, CEO Marc Benioff has said that IBM lags behind its competitors. At the company’s recent conference Benioff said, “IBM doesn’t own the technology like they did in the last wave.”

For IBM, cloud computing is considered one of four major revenue-growth areas, along with emerging markets, analytic software, and urban technology systems. According to technology research firm Gartner, the sales of cloud computing services will reach about $58 billion this year, increasing by $8 billion since 2011.

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