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IBM Ships Lotus Foundations to Local Businesses
From Zero to Start in 30 Minutes
Lotus Foundations Start, the first in a line of software appliances, contains the software essential for companies with five to 500 employees and little or no in-house technical resources, allowing them to focus on running their business rather than managing their computer systems. This new, Linux-based IBM solution provides staple collaboration tools such as email, file sharing, and remote access and affords peace of mind through automated network security features, data protection, backup and recovery. Lotus Foundations Start manages and heals itself, obviating the need for IT staff skills and costs. It automatically detects the network, secures data and configures applications.
Lotus Foundations Start is also the initial product of the "Blue Business Platform," IBM's initiative to simplify the delivery of information technology for small and medium sized businesses (SMB). IBM's "Blue Business Platform" initiative is part of IBM's ongoing plans to aggressively target its largest opportunity for growth in the $500 billion SMB marketplace. The objective is to radically simplify IT for small-medium businesses and provide a platform for software and services providers to grow their business. IBM and its partners will accomplish this by pre-integrating products and delivering them to SMBs as comprehensive solutions that reduce costs and complexity.
Lotus Foundations represents a concerted effort to serve small, local companies with complete, user friendly packages to help demystify complex IT. To further simplify technology, locally based IT firms partnering with IBM will deliver the Lotus Foundations solutions in-person to local businesses. More information available at www.ibm.com/lotus/foundations.
Tale of the Tape
Key attributes of Lotus Foundations Start include:
- Starting price of $949 US for the server software and 5 users. Hardware additional. Each additional user is $149 US.
- Powerful Collaboration capabilities - includes the IBM Lotus Notes/Domino Collaboration platform empowering a business to create, share and print documents, and leverage email and calendaring functions.
- Automated IT functionality - self-configuring, self-healing, and self- managing capabilities automate installation, configuration and everyday system operations, freeing users to focus on their business challenges.
- IBM Lotus office productivity tools (http://symphony.lotus.com/...), generally available in its commercial form today, provides individuals with productivity tools including presentations, spreadsheets, and documents.
- Support for Microsoft Outlook - business users who are accustomed to the Microsoft Outlook client can continue to use it.
- Low touch information backup - frequent, incremental, automated backups ensure critical data is always protected. No tapes to rotate, no software to configure and set up for restore.
- Disaster recovery assurance - recover from any type of system failure to a fully functional state in a matter of minutes.
- Hands-off protection with a preemptive network defense - integrated firewall automatically detects a business's network and secures it. Packaged anti-virus and anti-spam software keep systems safe from unwanted security threats and intrusions.
Small businesses are facing IT challenges that are growing in complexity, yet they cannot afford the time or expense of managing complex computer systems. Traditional enterprise application deployments can be cumbersome for SMBs. They require solutions that can be deployed rapidly and easily maintained, avoiding the disruption of daily operations.
The automated installation allows for fast set-up, enabling the business to begin recouping its investment. Automated network security features and self-managing capabilities mean problems are detected, analyzed and corrected before they grow into major issues. When and if system outages occur -- whether from a power outage, system failure, or even someone tripping over the power cord -- Lotus Foundations Start enables a business to recover all of its information in minutes. The combined effect of these unique features is simplicity and business continuity unmatched by competitive solutions.
"Small businesses need to get up and running fast. If they're not nimble in how they serve their customers, they don't stay in business very long," said Kevin Cavanaugh, Vice President, IBM Lotus Software. "Part of the appeal is not having to run around adding things. Foundations Start has everything you need."
The need to learn new systems and applications can slow productivity. Lotus Foundations Start gives businesses the option to work how they know best by giving them the ability to use multiple email clients and document formats. There is no learning curve, so employees can remain productive and continue to work uninterrupted.
A notable business that relies on IBM Lotus Foundations is Gardner Rich & Co., LLCi, a private stock brokerage firm based in Chicago. The firm was founded by Chris Gardner in 1987 with only $10,000 and one piece of furniture after years of homelessness.
The 2006 movie "The Pursuit of Happyness" is based on Gardner's life story. Gardner Rich leverages the solution to provide anywhere, anytime access for its employees, secure its ever growing volume of client and transaction data, and secure its network and reduce operational downtime, which can cost the company up to $50,000 US per day.
Available immediately in English, Lotus Foundations Start will also be released in traditional and simplified Chinese, Dutch, Finnish, French, German, Italian, Japanese, Norwegian, Portuguese, Spanish and Swedish by July 30.
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