SONY: It’s serious about reaching businesses with VAIO

Mike Abary, General Manager for SONY’s VAIO product marketing is SERIOUS about reaching small-medium sized businesses with Sony VAIO notebook computers.
Previous initiatives by Sony to enter this market had been more informal in nature and consisted of mainly a shift in channel, but selling the same product to consumers and to SMB’s.
Mike explained that this time, in a major way, Sony is not just shifting channel strategies but also changing its notebook computers specifically for businesses.
Dell, IBM, Toshiba, Gateway and others all sell notebook computers geared towards businesses, what will Sony do to differentiate its line of business notebook computers?
Businesses who buy Sony’s notebooks will be able to more easily integrate their notebooks into other Sony technology. For example, from digital projectors, to cameras and more – all of Sony’s products have a Sony Memory Stick. The Memory Stick is used to easily transfer digital information between the products.
Another differentiating factor is Sony’s commitment to adding premium technology features to its notebooks (and products overall). Be it long battery life (up to 5 hours) – which is very important for businesses, a built in digital camera, or just more USB or IEEE1394 (Firewire) ports, Sony’s brand speaks of hi-end features.
Mike also explained that while consumers like the latest technology in their notebooks, businesses are more concerned with stable technology or life cycle. In fact many of the IT managers in smaller businesses have come from large enterprises and bring their knowledge and technology discipline with them.
If a business buys 10 notebooks today, they’d like to be able to buy another 5 notebooks with the same (or VERY similar) configuration 6 months later. When managing notebooks (or any technology for that matter) it’s so much easier to manage 15 of the same notebooks, than 10 of one kind of 5 of another. You have to worry about drivers, configurations, operating systems and etc.
Sony’s business notebooks, will be sold under the VAIO professional brand.
Business users can tailor software and hardware to suit their specific requirements with a range of build-to-order (BTO) and configure-to-order (CTO) options.
So, if you are looking to purchase a notebook computer for your business – Sony should definitely be a consideration.
I’ve always considered IBM Thinkpads to be a premium brand of of notebooks, while Dell and others are more value focused. With Sony in the mix – another premium brand emerges and that’s Sony.