IBM Ups the Ante Against Oracle and Hewlett-Packard

It seems IBM (NYSE:IBM) is stepping up its game against other tech giants like Oracle (NASDAQ:ORCL), SAP (NYSE:SAP), and Hewlett-Packard (NYSE:HPQ) this month. New products and arrangements could take away some market share as the 20-year U.S. patent champion takes advantage of some of its might.

Word came out Monday that IBM was in agreements with McDonald’s (NYSE:MCD) to implement a social network for the fast-food chain’s employees in South Africa — a system that would reach some 8,000 McDonald’s employees and would allow them to communicate and arrange business matters. South Africa could help the product get footing to later challenge the web-based solutions offered by companies like SAP and Oracle, perhaps in larger markets like the U.S.

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Tuesday, IBM announced another big move to shore up its business — this time in hardware. Oracle and Hewlett-Packard both make servers for enterprises and have a strong position in the market for that sort of resource.

Now, IBM wants to offer its own Power and Storage Systems business to the market, and it’s got its eyes on small- and medium-sized businesses. The company will be offering new servers at competitive prices, starting with the Power Express 710 at just less than $6000…