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IBM and Lawson Software Nov. 7 expanded a North American reseller agreement to focus on specific vertical markets in Germany, a move that could spread throughout Europe and Latin America.

Under the expanded agreement, IBM will co-design, sell and implement solutions based on Lawson’s enterprise software for small and midsize businesses, specifically designed for companies in process manufacturing and retail, the companies said.

Germany was the perfect expansion point, said Brig Serman, vice president of alliances for IBM Global Business.

“Local market conditions in Germany happened to be the right combination of entrepreneurial leadership, a strong customer base in industries we focus on and a strong economy to sell into,” said Brian Sterrett, vice president of channels and partners for Lawson. Germany also offers significant opportunities for continued growth, he added.

The expanded agreements will use the already established IBM Express Advantage strategy, which offers resellers prepackaged solutions specifically tailored for SMBs in vertical markets, Serman said.

The two firms are also pursuing SMB growth opportunities in areas such as Latin America, the Middle East and Asia, as well as furthering expanding throughout Europe, said Sterrett.

Lawson and IBM initially joined forces in North America earlier this year to focus on SMBs in banking and insurance as well as manufacturing firms in the fashion, and food and beverage sectors.

The companies are also making two industry-specific Lawson solutions available to North American business partners and customers that serve the SMB market: IBM Express Food and Beverage Solution for Lawson M3 and IBM Express Fashion and Apparel Solution for Lawson M3. The solutions, based on the Lawson M3 product line, include required functionality preconfigured in the software to support the business processes of those industries, said Sterrett.

According to the companies, the agreement helps both reach more deeply into what IDC estimates is a $404 billion worldwide SMB market.