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IBM Offers Collaboration Support for Ubuntu


IBM (NYSE: IBM) today announced that it will offer an integrated Open Collaboration Client Solution with support for Ubuntu, a Linux-based operating system from Canonical Ltd. that is especially popular for desktops, laptops and thin clients.

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Showing strong momentum around its IBM Lotus Notes 8 and IBM Lotus Symphony-based Open Collaboration Client Solution, IBM also announced a new agreement working with Red Hat targeting small and medium-sized enterprises, and momentum in the Open Collaboration Client Solution powered by SUSE Linux Enterprise from Novell that was announced in August 2007. The announcements were made at the opening of Lotusphere in Orlando.

IBM’s Open Collaboration Client Solution is a set of software products designed to help customers in all industries increase collaboration among employees, improve their productivity, and lower the total cost of information technology ownership. It is personal computing software that is based on open standards, providing businesses with a cost- effective and security-rich alternative to Microsoft desktops. Moving away from an entirely proprietary approach to computing to a platform based on open standards gives businesses the freedom to select the proper mix of software for their organization, based on user segmentation, in an heterogeneous environment, helping move them toward the desktops of the future.

“Today’s announcements will help to accelerate the adoption of IBM’s Open Collaboration Client Solution, and further address customer demands around choice,” said Inna Kuznetsova, cross-IBM executive for Linux. “Effective desktop management is of critical importance to businesses today. By providing an alternative to the proprietary desktop model though one based on open standards, businesses now have the freedom to select the proper mix of software to help improve collaboration, increase end-user productivity, and reduce total cost of ownership."

Red Hat IBM today announced a new marketing initiative with Red Hat, targeted at small and medium sized businesses, that combines Red Hat Enterprise Linux Advanced Platform, Red Hat Enterprise Linux Desktop, IBM Lotus Notes client with Lotus Symphony and IBM Lotus Domino server.

Business partners that are Red Hat Advanced Business Partners and Lotus-authorized IBM Business Partners may sell the Red Hat and IBM Lotus products with a Red Hat Enterprise Linux Advanced Platform Premium subscription and a six-month Red Hat Enterprise Linux Desktop trial. In addition, Red Hat will be providing a value-added services offer to qualified Red Hat Advanced Business Partners to provide end customers with implementation services for rapid, easy solution deployment. Jumpstart services and desktop/application migration services are provided by IBM Regional Systems Integrators such as CSSCorp.

“Red Hat is proud of our joint work with IBM to reduce the complexity of deploying and operating messaging and collaboration solutions,” said Scott Crenshaw, vice president, Enterprise Linux Business at Red Hat. “This initiative is further evidence of our commitment to not only reduce our customer’s acquisition costs, but to reduce their yearly operating expenses, while greatly increasing the security of their information.”

Ubuntu By combining the innovative user experience of the Ubuntu platform with the re-designed Lotus Notes 8 and Lotus Symphony, customers will experience greater ease-of-use and comprehensive management of the desktop. Full support for Ubuntu within Lotus Notes and Lotus Symphony is planned with Lotus Notes 8.5 in the second half of 2008. The Lotus Symphony office productivity suite is included with Lotus Notes 8 and is available as a separate download, at no additional charge. Ubuntu is released on a regular six-month cycle in more than 50 languages, and is backed with commercial support from Canonical.

“IBM’s plans to deliver the IBM Open Collaboration Client Solution with Lotus Notes on the Ubuntu platform is a win for customers everywhere,” said Mark Murphy, vice president of alliances, Canonical, the commercial sponsor of Ubuntu. “Canonical is committed to bringing the best available productivity tools to its users on an open platform. Ubuntu users will now have an outstanding choice with Lotus Notes, while businesses will have a great choice with Lotus Domino. From a technical viewpoint, we are impressed how Lotus leverages the Eclipse platform to build and deliver rich client applications. This is an exciting development for Ubuntu users, too.”

The Open Collaboration Client Solution includes advanced email and calendar capabilities, proven unified communication and collaboration functionality and lightweight yet powerful word processing, spreadsheet and presentation capabilities with Open Document Format (ODF) support. Because the Open Collaboration Client Solution is built on Lotus Expeditor, which is based on the open source Eclipse Rich Client Platform, business ready social networking, team collaboration and portal technologies can easily be added to a Linux PC user's desktop.


IBM also announced strong momentum behind its Open Collaboration Client Solution powered by SUSE Linux Enterprise from Novell that was announced last August. Novell was the first distributor to integrate with IBM’s Open Collaboration Client Solution by offering a single click install process for SUSE Linux Enterprise from Novell and IBM’s Open Collaboration Client Solution, as well as migration and integration services provided by Value Added Distributors (VADs) around the Open Collaboration Client Solution. More than a dozen VADs worldwide have signed up, enabled, and are promoting the solution, including Arrow in the United States, driving demand for their top resellers and Avnet in Italy focused on public sector business and government customers.

“The rapid uptake of the Open Collaboration Client Solution by business partners is a clear indicator of its value to the market,” said Roger Levy, senior vice president and general manager of Open Platform Solutions for Novell. “These partners are seeking ways to help their customers increase productivity, strengthen desktop security and reduce total cost of ownership. Novell is excited to advance innovation in client computing and end-user collaboration by working with IBM.”

“Today's announcements show the growing importance of openness and choice in the computing environments of our customers and partners,” said Jeff Smith, vice president of open source and Linux in IBM Software Group. “IBM’s market insight shows that collaboration is key to driving innovation in day-to-day business. These offerings combine IBM's strengths in collaboration, SOA, and Web 2.0 with our partners' strengths in open operating environments.”

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