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IBM and Novell Help PC Users Collaborate, Save Money and Avoid Vendor Lock-In


To help businesses avoid the high costs of over reliance on a single vendor, IBM (NYSE: IBM) today announced an integrated open collaboration client for SUSE Linux Enterprise Desktop from Novell. The announcement was made at the opening of LinuxWorld in San Francisco.

An open client is personal computing software that is based on open standards, providing businesses with an alternative to proprietary desktop applications. The integrated open collaboration client is available through IBM and Novell business partners.
Moving away from an entirely proprietary approach to computing to a platform based on open standards gives businesses the freedom to select the best mix of software and services for their organization, regardless of legacy systems. For example, with this open client businesses can save up to $300-$500(1) per user over proprietary offerings such as Microsoft Windows Vista and Microsoft Office. Administration and deployment time can also be reduced through one click installation capabilities.

The open collaboration client includes advanced email and calendar capabilities, proven unified communication and collaboration functionality and lightweight yet powerful word processing, spreadsheet and presentation capabilities with OpenDocument Format (ODF) support. Because the open client is built on the Eclipse open framework, business ready social networking, team collaboration and portal technologies can easily be added to a Linux PC user’s desktop.

“Effective desktop management is a challenge for organizations today,” said Roger Levy, senior vice president and general manager of Open Platform Solutions for Novell. “Novell is collaborating with IBM on the open collaboration client bundle powered by SUSE Linux Enterprise to help customers meet that challenge and benefit from improved collaboration, increased end-user productivity, strengthened security, and reduced total cost of ownership.”

The open collaboration client represents a significant opportunity for IBM and Novell business partners.

Value Added Distributors (VADs) represent the fulfillment channel for the integrated open collaboration client bundle. The one click installation image enables VADs to significantly reduce installation, implementation, and testing time for customers. Sales and technical enablement resources will be provided to the VAD community, making it easy for them to offer customers a cost-efficient desktop alternative. For example, the German market faces an emerging demand from early adopters to pilot Linux desktop infrastructure with IBM Lotus Notes. Azlan, a software, server and storage subsidiary of Tech Data, the second largest VAD world wide, teamed up with IBM, Novell and six of their value added resellers (VARs) in Germany, including edcom GmbH which has been involved in early testing of the solution, to address this demand.
“This bundle is exactly what our customers require to pilot alternatives to Microsoft,” said Dagmar Ziegler, Manager of IBM Software sales for Azlan, a business unit of Tech Data GMBH. “It is not only about selling software to customers through our channel, but actually assisting them with consulting tools provided by IBM included in the campaign. Our promotions have laid the this new market and easily adapt our program to upcoming Lotus Notes 8 bundles available on Linux.”
Independent Software Vendors (ISVs) can easily prepare their applications to run on the open collaboration client bundle with technical resources and best practices from IBM Linux Integration Centers and Novell. In addition, co-existence tools that help partners migrate customers’ Visual Basic applications to Java or access .Net applications as Java applications are also available at
Regional Systems Integrators (RSIs) and Solution Providers can access technical and sales enablement on user segmentation, pilots, value assessment, application migration, installation and deployment from IBM and Novell. RSI and Solution Providers will benefit from being able to help customers experience faster return on investment through simplified installation, migration, testing and deployment.
“As our enterprise clients struggle with Microsoft Vista/Office 2007 migration and the costs of using Microsoft Windows desktops, we expect many of them will decide to fully utilize the benefits of a Linux desktop,” said Ajmal Noorani, chief marketing officer of Csscorp. “Not only does IBM software running on Linux give our clients advanced collaboration capabilities, enhanced security, and Web 2.0 features, it also delivers significant savings for our customers, making it an even more attractive proposition for enterprises looking for cost-efficient desktop solutions. And we are reaping the benefits ourselves, as this is the platform for all our internal systems.”
The open collaboration client includes IBM Lotus Notes, IBM Lotus Sametime and the IBM productivity tools. In addition, IBM Lotus Connections, IBM Lotus Quickr and IBM WebSphere Portal can easily be added bringing social networking, team collaboration and portal capabilities to SUSE Linux Enterprise Desktop. In addition, the server components required to support the open collaboration client are also available as one click install solutions and include IBM Lotus Domino and Lotus Sametime servers powered by SUSE Linux Enterprise Server 10 from Novell.

Novell will be distributing an evaluation copy of the open collaboration client at LinuxWorld San Francisco in booth 702.


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