200+ Microsoft Partners Per Month Flocking to Sell IBM Lotus Foundations Appliance

ARMONK, N.Y. - 04 Jun 2009: Facing waning demand for Microsoft products and growing interest in Linux, in the first five months of 2009 more than 1,000 Microsoft Business Partners have signed up to sell IBM's Lotus Foundations (www.ibm.com/lotus/foundations) "office-in-a-box" appliance for small and medium sized businesses (SMBs).

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According to Microsoft business partners, sales of Microsoft's Small Business Server (SBS) software bundle have slowed due to lack of innovation and partner dissatisfaction with their inability to add solutions. In challenging economic times, Microsoft partners are looking for an alternative that provides SMB customers with more collaboration computing power for less money and more reliability.

"Lotus Foundations is a complete, cost-effective solution that easily scales as a business grows. When you add users, you know exactly what it will cost and the functionality you'll get," said Bernie Leung of Mesa Technology. "With Microsoft SBS, you always have to worry about what additional licenses you will have to purchase -- the SQL client is just one example."

In addition, some Microsoft partners have expressed disenchantment with Microsoft's new strategy of battling Linux encroachment in the SMB market by offering a skeletal version of Windows Server. Named "Microsoft Foundation Windows Server," it can be positioned as a loss leader to up-sell customers a variety of other Microsoft products. Seeing rising customer demand for lower cost, more secure, and open source alternatives, many Microsoft partners are looking to sell Linux-based solutions.

IBM Lotus Foundations provides all the hardware and software needed for a business to get up and running and grow exponentially without incurring any upgrade costs. The IBM product enables small businesses to move to a single platform for all their IT needs, a stark contrast to Microsoft SBS, where additional software from Microsoft, as well as hardware and software from third parties must be purchased.

"With Lotus Symphony, we don't have to pay for Microsoft Office. Most importantly, Lotus Foundations is simple to use and easy to maintain. It eliminates the expense of having a full-time IT expert on staff," said Jose Lopez Gonzalez, CEO, Lopez y Cortina, an insurance provider in Monterrey, Mexico.

"If you sell servers to small business or non-profit organizations and you want one that has everything they need to run their network in one box that is extremely easy to manage, you owe it to yourself to look at the Lotus Foundations appliance," said David Lawrence, President of Smart Technology Enablers.

IBM Lotus Foundations is designed to simplify the IT experience for small businesses. Before IBM Lotus Foundations, small businesses were stuck with the many hassles and technology pains associated with traditional IT solutions.

IBM Lotus Foundations Provides SMBs with Positive Change from the Status Quo

New IBM clients such as Lopez y Cortina, Murak & Associates LLC and Calvary Baptist Academy are indicative of many small businesses in North America and around the world. For these organizations, which lack the luxury of dedicated IT personnel, keeping expenses in check is a top priority. Given that reality, these companies are looking for ways to make dealing with technology easier.

Business partners are also looking for more effective methods to drive business and support their customer base. The following are comments by a sample of IBM clients and partners which have signed up to market Lotus Foundations in the past five months.

"Lotus Foundations dramatically improved our email platform. And instead of using disparate software, every user has the same comprehensive solutions, creating a common experience and standardized security and back-up protection across the company," said Jose Lopez Gonzalez, CEO of Lopez y Cortina, an insurance provider in Monterrey, Mexico.

"For us, collaboration is paramount," said Gerry Murak, the Principal and Founder of Murak & Associates, a New York-based management consulting firm. "With the VPN and file sharing features in Lotus Foundations, our consultants can access information anywhere in the world just as if they are in the office. And with this solution, we know our data is safe. The backup process is completely automated. It's one less thing for us to worry about."

"Our IT setup consisted of a series of old desktop computers. Our file management system consisted of information stored on CDs, disks and hard copies of important documents. We needed a system to help centralize and simplify our file storage, but we didn't have a huge budget," commented teacher Kathy Rutledge of Calvary Baptist Academy, an accredited K-12 institution in Shreveport, Louisiana. "Lotus Foundations enabled us to implement a complete data storage system and stay within budget. And as an added savings, the included Lotus Symphony software enables us to cut all future costs tied to buying and upgrading Microsoft Office licenses."

"With Lotus Foundations, we were able to get a more complete solution and cut our costs significantly," said Dr. Tim Miller of EnVision Solutions, an IT systems integrator in the Raleigh, NC area. "The full year cost of our Lotus Foundations environment is equivalent to what we paid for only about one-and-a-half months with our SBS solution. That means we can spend more money on developing solutions that help our customers improve the way they do business."

Greg Gould of IT firm GDomino of Portland, Maine, stated, "Lotus Foundations is like a giant aspirin for the IT headaches that plague business owners every day."

"The Lotus Foundations appliance server is a wonderful device -- the ease of install and configuration makes getting right to work a quick job," commented Robert Thresher, owner of Thresher Enterprise Systems. "For the money, we could not have come close to finding this functionality anywhere else -- enterprise quality in a small business box."

"With Lotus Foundation remote management, we have eliminated 50 percent of the support travel time, allowing us to grow our Managed Service Provider division," said James Sulfare of Solinkit, LLC. As a result, we have grown sales and our customer base by 80 percent in the year 2008. With all the technology opportunities today, we are seeing a large number of customers looking for long term solutions outside of Microsoft, and Lotus Foundations and IBM Symphony are two great alternatives that offer small business organizations an IT solution that grows as their business grows -- and adds value without taking away from their bottom line."

"Lotus Foundations allows us to service our more than 100 different clients remotely. In fact, of all of the clients we've serviced that have IBM servers running Lotus Foundations, we've only ever met two face-to-face," said Hari Boukis, owner of Advertising Magic.

"We chose Lotus Foundations from IBM for its high availability and ease of maintainability," said Jim Abraham, Managing Partner of Line Fifty Software. "Lotus Foundations also helps companies keep costs down due to its reliability, all-in-one office software suite, ease of use and maintainability. Additionally, since our solution is Windows-based, the ability to run Windows applications alongside Linux applications makes the Foundations environment a complete SMB solution."

For more information on IBM Lotus Foundations, visit www.ibm.com/lotus/foundations.

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