Companies Choosing Lotus Collaboration to Work Smarter and Lower Costs

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ARMONK, N.Y. - 04 Jun 2009: IBM today announced major enterprise client wins for Lotus collaboration software over Microsoft as businesses seek cost efficiencies in today's economic climate. Recent Lotus wins include The Coca-Cola Company, HSBC, ABB, BASF, Blue Cross Blue Shield, Hyundai, Liberty Mutual, Linde Group, Mass Mutual, Nationwide, State Bank of India, and The Hartford, among others.

Driven by guidance from Microsoft to abandon evaluation of currently-shipping products, Microsoft customers are choosing IBM Lotus software, driven by the higher return on investment and easier deployment of Lotus software.

At the recent Microsoft Tech Ed conference in Los Angeles, Microsoft executives advised customers to stop testing Vista and move to testing Windows 7. The same advice was repeated for Microsoft customers which have not yet moved to Exchange 2007; they were told to skip it and wait for 2010. This advice is a departure from Microsoft's conventional strategy of encouraging customers to upgrade with the impending release of a new version of a product.

"In this environment of cost-cutting, lowered headcounts, geographically distributed teams and mergers and acquisitions, there are several reasons customers are choosing Notes over Exchange," said Bob Picciano, general manager of IBM Lotus Software. "Businesses don't have money to waste on high licensing and maintenance fees, nor the patience to deal with unreliable software."

The economic downturn is causing companies to spend their budgets more carefully. As a result, an increasing number of customers are looking at Lotus solutions over Microsoft to not only reduce their IT spending, but to help their employees work more effectively with fewer resources. Since the launch of Lotus Notes 8 in August 2007, IBM has seen the fastest adoption for any release in the history of Notes and Domino -- more than double that of previous releases.

The rapid market acceptance of Notes and Domino 8 is being driven, in part, by features that deliver efficiencies. For example, Domino 8 has been proven to lower the cost of ownership for enterprises by as much as 30 percent as a result of new capabilities that allow companies to reduce the number of severs needed; drive down the hardware required to support mail files and attachments; and minimize administrative overhead.

Since people choose a variety of ways to collaborate with each other, IBM continues to expand Notes/Domino capabilities well beyond email by tightly integrating instant messaging and presence awareness, enterprise grade social networking tools, and access to team rooms and repositories into the Notes user interface. In fact, 30 percent of new Lotus Sametime unified communications customers are Microsoft Outlook and Exchange messaging users. In addition, with more than four million downloads of Lotus Symphony, IBM's no charge productivity software, customers are looking to alternatives to Microsoft Office which are based on open standards and feature lower costs.

"While Microsoft is telling customers they need to wait seven years for major enhancements to Exchange and Windows, IBM continues to deliver new Lotus releases with richer capabilities on time," said Picciano. "Clients are embracing IBM's holistic view of collaboration as a means of working smarter and more efficiently with powerful Web 2.0 and social software tools. The net effect is our clients' employees are collaborating at a much deeper, more profound level, gaining insight and productivity, while lowering their IT spending."

In another sign of market momentum, a record 20,000 customers attended Lotus events this year, an increase of 39 percent worldwide over 2008. It was at some of these events where senior executives from business leaders such as Coca-Cola, HSBC and NetJets advocated innovative ways they are applying Lotus collaboration technologies to help their employees work smarter and more efficiently.

John Dunning, vice president, planning and architecture, NetJets discussed using IBM's WebSphere Portal -- also part of the Lotus suite -- to empower, collaborate and share information. The company has 800 jets, 15 jet types, 5,000 co-owners in 173 countries, and has logged 390,000 flight hours and 200 million miles in the past year.

Dunning said, "Using IBM portal software, key tools link you to the most popular applications at the click of a mouse. No more hunting for a Web address."

The Coca-Cola Company, global corporate headquarters, recently discussed the process that led them to choose IBM Lotus for its collaboration platform. Chief Information Officer Jean-Michel Ares stated that there were many critical factors required for their future digital workspace technology decision. To be successful, it was determined their solutions must be easy to use, allow for natural extension to the enterprise and across supply chains, provide open platform integration (such as SAP), give strong mobility support, and that there must be a strong strategic partnership with their vendor of choice. "Lotus meets all of these criteria," he stated at Lotusphere in Orlando, Florida.

In addition, State Bank of India has agreed to the largest installation of Notes and Domino 8 e-mail and collaboration software in an emerging market to date, and the largest Lotus deal in recent history. The software, installation and maintenance package, which will enable the bank to communicate more effectively on-line, will eventually be used by 300,000 bank employees, more than three times the number who currently have access to e-mail. It will allow them to better exchange information through Web 2.0-enabled instant messaging, file and folder sharing, bulletin boards and discussion forums.

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