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IBM Offers Customers Freedom of Choice With New Open Client Solution for Enterprise PCs
Alternative to Vendor Lock-In Can Include Lotus Software; Based on Internal Open Client Deployment and Roles Based Strategy
The solution addresses customer demand to improve interoperability and provide more choice to run different vendors' products that work together. Customers will now have the opportunity to run a mix of Lotus, open source, and other commercial software products - - running on either Linux, Microsoft Windows, or planned for later this year, Macintosh - - on PCs, desktops and other devices.
IBM developed the new solution based on best practices it learned from an IBM internal desktop deployment, which supports open standards, and includes Lotus collaboration software products running on Red Hat's Enterprise Linux Workstation. One of the largest corporate Linux desktop roll-outs to date, the Open Client Solution complements the company's broad roles-based strategy which is aimed at providing employees the right platform for an individual's specific job role.
Customers can benefit from the opportunity to make one investment in the single, flexible Open Client Solution, a more efficient alternative to vendor lock-in because only minor changes are typically required to run on different operating system platforms. The solution can include capabilities for desktop management support and application migration and are aimed at helping customers pilot, implement, and gain value from security-rich and reliable Linux and other open standards-based solutions. Operating system services will be provided by Linux distributors Red Hat and Novell.
Further advancing the company's open standards push beyond Linux, customers will be afforded the freedom to choose from a variety of IBM technologies or Business Partner applications including: IBM Productivity tools that support the OASIS Open Document Format (ODF), the Firefox Web browser, Lotus Notes & Lotus Domino, Lotus Sametime and IBM WebSphere Portal v6 on Red Hat Desktop Linux suite, or SUSE Linux Enterprise Desktop.
Alternative to Vendor Lock-In Includes Lotus Software Running With Linux or Windows and Macintosh
Customers can choose to run both Linux and Windows on PCs and include social collaboration products from Lotus. The Lotus Notes and Lotus Sametime collaboration and instant messaging products were the first two mass-marketed enterprise products to be delivered for Linux-based PCs. Lotus Notes 8 is currently scheduled to support Macintosh later this year.
IBM's Open Client Solution combines best-of-breed collaboration solutions and can include:
Lotus Notes: Email and collaboration software that has been used by more than 130 million users worldwide.
Lotus Sametime: A unified communication and collaboration platform featuring an industry leading business instant messaging solution.
WebSphere Portal 6.0: A server-based foundation for building portal applications and services accessed through a common entry point via popular browsers such as Internet Explorer, Firefox and Safari.
Lotus Expeditor: An Eclipse-based Rich Client Platform (RCP) for deploying composite applications or business "mashups" for on-line and off-line use.
"Our goal is to provide a flexible open client platform that minimizes customer investment needs and gives users the option to choose the tools they need to do their jobs more efficiently," said Scott Handy, vice president, Worldwide Linux and Open Source, IBM. "Increasingly, customers are asking for software and tools that are based on open standards that easily integrate within existing open IT environments, and have enterprise-level security features. "We've addressed this market demand by creating an open solution that runs on multiple operating systems with components supported by services from IBM, Red Hat and Novell."
IBM Rolling Out One of the Largest Corporate Open Client Solutions
IBM has deployed its own Open Client solution built on many of the same components it is making available to customers with today's announced solution, including the extensive Lotus portfolio, IBM Productivity tools that support ODF, the Firefox Web browser, and Red Hat Enterprise Linux 4.
Linux is one component of the company's broader roles-based computing strategy to provide IBM employees with the right client platform depending upon business roles. Today, IBM offers an internal solution that provides a supported, standards-based desktop Linux client that helps increase the productivity of IBM professional developers with a business need for Linux. IBM's user segmentation model is used to deploy Linux to appropriate user populations.
One of the largest Open Client corporate desktop roll-outs, it enables IBM employees worldwide to integrate standards-based applications, like Lotus Notes and Lotus Sametime - - running with either the Windows or Linux operating system - - into the IBM enterprise infrastructure. While users are afforded the freedom to choose the best solution for their individual needs, the deployment also serves as an opportunity for IBM to test the functionality, stability and security features of open standards-based solutions running on different operating systems.
"With the Open Client platform we've internally battle-tested a Linux-based solution running Lotus software in one of the world's largest enterprises based on what customers have been demanding from the market," said Scott Handy, vice president, Worldwide Linux and Open Source, IBM. "We've met those market needs by creating a single flexible software stack that only requires one set of investment and one team of developers to run on multiple operating systems."
The solution is currently available worldwide and is priced based on customer requirements.
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