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ORLANDO, FL - 21 Jan 2009: LOTUSPHERE -- To help customers get the most out of their information technology (IT) in challenging business conditions, IBM is offering a growing portfolio of low or no-cost software.
Designed to help small-to-medium sized businesses (SMBs) reduce the time and money associated with deploying and managing IT solutions, IBM Lotus Foundations Start 1.1 and a new offering, Lotus Foundations Branch Office, were unveiled today at Lotusphere. Lotus Foundations is IBM's hardware and software solution that helps businesses from 5 - 500 employees collaborate with tools like email, office applications, file sharing, back up and recovery.
The latest version of Lotus Foundations Start, allows customers to take advantage of existing IT investments by providing the ability to run Microsoft Windows applications within a Lotus Foundations environment. Previously announced as a pilot program with VMware, this new capability will give customers the ability to run IBM Lotus Domino, Windows and native Linux applications.
Many large organizations running Lotus Domino such as banks, professional services firms and insurance agencies have significant portions of their businesses in branch offices without on-site IT. With Lotus Foundations Branch Office, large enterprise Lotus Domino customers will be able to extend existing skills and data to remote offices quickly and efficiently. Lotus Foundations Branch Office will help large organizations reduce costs and better manage operations by supporting the sometimes complex technology needs of the branch and satellite offices with a fully integrated appliance.
Business Partners are taking note of Lotus Foundations. Lotus+911, Research In Motion (RIM) and ShoreTel have evaluated Lotus Foundations' functionality and ease-of-use, and believe it is a good platform to reach the SMB market.
IBM is working with Xerox to align Lotus Foundations and Xerox's multi-function printing devices to empower Independent Software Vendors (ISVs) and Value Added Resellers(VARs) to better support small business customers.
"Xerox's Extensible Interface Platform (EIP) enables solutions to be built that manage documents and other digital content that flow to and from our multi-function printing (MFP) devices," said Tom Durkin, director for corporate strategy, Xerox. "With Lotus Foundations, IBM has a simple and secure platform that supports document solutions that involve encoded and image information and is ideal to simplify SMB business processes. Combine Foundations and EIP and you will have a complete collaboration infrastructure in which solutions can be prototyped, developed and deployed quickly and easily to the SMB market."
Lotus Symphony Goes Mainstream
IBM Lotus Symphony, IBM's free software suite of word processing documents, spreadsheets and presentation files, has recently passed three million downloads worldwide. Available to anyone with one click at http://symphony.lotus.com, Lotus Symphony has become one of the leading alternatives to Microsoft Office, capable of saving individuals and businesses hundreds or even thousands of dollars. Adopting Symphony can put less stress on IT budgets, which can mean more money to drive innovation and investments in human capital.
With the challenging economy, businesses are more focused on cost-effective technologies. Suame Magazine Industrial Development Organization (SMIDO) provides critical technology training to the artisans, mechanics and shop owners in the Suame Magazine section of Ghana. Suame Magazine is an engineering cluster located in Kumasi, Ghana. With more than 200,000 workers, it is the biggest industrial estate in Africa and has business activities that result in daily cash financial transactions of over $1 million US.
"We need powerful productivity tools without a high price tag," said Yaw Adu-Gyamfi, SMIDO instructor. "At an organization like SMIDO, incurring additional costs year after year is problematic and detracts from our ability to allocate funds to our long term vision and goal. Above all, the open source nature of Symphony allows us the flexibility we need to upgrade and manage the software without the hassle of licensing fees and lengthy conditions."
Organizations across business, government, education and philanthropy are finding Lotus Symphony and Lotus Foundations the easy choices as information technology and operating budgets tighten. For example, the San Miguel School of Camden New Jersey, a specialized school for at-risk adolescent boys, wanted to make the most of its non-profit budget without sacrificing the quality of its education tools. "Paying hundreds of dollars per user for office software isn't a possibility for us," said Brother Joseph Juliano of the school. "Lotus gives us the applications for our staff and student needs at much lower cost."
Lotus Symphony is also a component in two low cost software-based offerings from IBM Lotus, Lotus Foundations and the IBM Open Client (OCCS), the active ingredient in a popular Linux desktop software bundle.
Today IBM and Red Hat announced a joint initiative to help enterprise clients migrate from Microsoft-based desktops to Linux-based desktops. The initiative includes a migration package with tools such as Red Hat's TCO calculator, diagnostic kit, best practices guide, no charge cost-reduction strategy engagement, and no charge proof of concept/pilot deployment. It also includes insight on optimal uses for various client technology choices and how to harness Red Hat's heterogeneous virtualization management capability for the desktop to drive cost-efficiency and user productivity. The objective is to assist businesses in moving from higher cost platforms to Lotus on Red Hat Enterprise Linux solutions. This migration package will be delivered by joint channel Business Partners supported by IBM and Red Hat technical experts. Qualifying Business Partners in North America may apply to Red Hat for reimbursement from Red Hat for these professional services/implementation services provided to customers.
Already businesses around the world are moving to these economical solutions and driving significant savings of their planned expenditures on desktop computing. Constructora San José, a leading, privately owned construction company in Spain, chose the IBM Open Client on Red Hat for an efficient and secure way to communicate and collaborate internally and externally in real-time. This helps the company's mobile workers controlling and directing construction projects in remote locations to make fast decisions.
Web 2.0 to the Rescue
With the tightening economy, businesses are more focused than ever on enhancing customer experience and loyalty. New Web 2.0 tools from IBM not only help businesses to reduce costs and empower employees, but also to make better use of their Web sites, mobile devices and process automation for their customers.
A new Mashup Accelerator will help organizations quickly build and deploy applications that address daily business challenges. The Accelerator allows even non-technical users to build applications on the fly, reducing the development burden on IT and empowering people to pull together the information they need to get their jobs done. Likewise, a new Web 2.0 forms solution will help business users of any level streamline work and eliminate the costs and errors associated with paper production, processing and delivery. A new Mobile Accelerator enables businesses to extend their corporate portal services to mobile devices. This can help business save time and money by using the same servers to provide access to information and applications through the company intranet or extranet portal and to employees' or even customers' mobile devices.
IBM is also launching a new Web analytics initiative to help WebSphere Portal customers better capture, measure and respond to Website visitor information. Through relationships with leading Web analytics vendors, IBM is helping businesses improve the customer experience for their clients. For example, web analytics helps a major financial institution optimize the results of their offers on their portal Website. They get up-to-the-minute data on what users are doing on their site and can make immediate changes to the design to increase the conversion rate of shoppers to buyers.
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