IBM offers New Open Client Solution for Enterprise PCs

IBM (NYSE: IBM) today unveiled a new Open Client Solution for customers of any size or industry that can help their employees better collaborate, improve productivity, and lower the total cost of information technology ownership. 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 Linux, Microsoft Windows, or even Macintosh – on PCs, desktops and other devices.

“At IBM, our goal is to extend a flexible open client platform that substantially reduces customer investment needs besides giving users the option to choose the tools they need to do their jobs more efficiently,” said Antony Satyadas, Chief Competitive Marketing Officer, IBM Lotus Software. “There is an increasing demand amongst customers for open standard based software and tools that can easily integrate with existing IT environments, and have enterprise-level security features. We have addressed this market demand by creating an open solution that runs on multiple operating systems with components supported by services from IBM and Red Hat and Novell.”

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. 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.

Linux is now making rapid progress on desktops. The Linux desktop today offers much of the functionality of proprietary desktops at a fraction of the cost. Red Hat Enterprise Linux 5 Desktop has a very user friendly interface and is also available in eleven Indian languages — Assamese, Bengali, Gujarati, Hindi, Kannada, Malayalam, Marathi, Oriya, Punjabi, Tamil and Telugu. Open Client, an open standard based solution available on the Red Hat Enterprise Linux 5 Desktop will provide a compelling choice to the customers”, said Nandkumar Pradhan, President and Managing Director at Red Hat India.”

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.

Shiva Ramani, Co-Founder and CEO Cybernet-SlashSupport (CSS) said, “As a fast-growing provider of technology infrastructure support to multinational clients around the world, we have a tremendous focus on collaboration and on open standards. IBM’s new Open Client solution offers the best combination of functionality and flexibility at a fraction of the cost of proprietary solutions. In line with our philosophy of practice what you preach, we are implementing the new IBM Open Client offering across our organisation.”

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 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.

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.

“Red Hat and IBM have a very strong global relationship and we are working very closely on many initiatives to provide Linux based solutions to the market. There are many customers who would like to take benefits of a leading messaging and collaboration such as Lotus Notes on

a very secure and stable platform such as Red Hat Enterprise Linux. Red Hat and IBM teams have worked together to release the Open client solution which is certified on Red Hat Enterprise Linux 5 Desktop to meet these customer requirements”, added Pradhan.

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 this solution, including the extensive Lotus portfolio, IBM Productivity tools that support ODF, the Firefox Web browser, and Red Hat Enterprise Linux 4.

“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 Antony Satyadas.”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.”

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.

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