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SMBs turn to IBM Lotus Foundations for servers

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CIOL Bureau
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ARMONK, USA: A growing number of small and medium businesses (SMBs) and organizations are finding innovative ways of doing business by building their operations on the new Lotus Foundations appliance, IBM's new "plug-and-play" SMB solution combining software and hardware.

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The multiple vendor hardware and software purchases associated with traditional information technology (IT) solutions make it difficult for businesses to ensure they have a fully integrated solution to meet all their needs. The San Miguel School in Camden, New Jersey had acquired technology piecemeal over several years, resulting in an assortment of servers running different, and often incompatible, software. "Now, with Lotus Foundations, we have everything we need to run seamlessly, in one box," says San Miguel president and principal Brother Joseph Juliano. "The system doesn't require any regular attention, which is great since we don't have any IT staff members."

What's not in a solution is as important as what is. With traditional small business solutions, such as those offered by Microsoft, businesses have become accustomed to buying bloated, needlessly complex and extraneous features that are neither wanted nor needed. Many have suffered from system crashes, complex licensing, regular system patches, and the inability to recover lost data.

"Business as usual is no longer an option in the current climate. Businesses need solutions that are reliable and easy-to-use. And they only want to pay for the functionality that they need. Lotus Foundations is that solution," said Dennis Kenner of Kenner Consulting, LLC.

As businesses grow, it becomes increasingly difficult to effectively manage and share files. Lost or corrupted data can mean costly down time and lost productivity. SNNCS, a nursing firm providing special needs services, shared those concerns. "We had a bunch of individual workstations and lacked a good method to centrally keep track of and share files. With Lotus Foundations, not only did we gain a reliable computer network to manage our files from a central location -- but also a contingency plan with our data backup system," said Kim Harper, Operating Manager at SNNCS. "We can now better control access to patient records and don't have to worry about the usual costs associated with recovering lost information."

More and more local IBM and Microsoft business partners are taking notice of the groundswell of client interest in Lotus Foundations. IBM Business Partner DealerMagic, for one, provides comprehensive deal management solutions for automobile dealerships based on IBM Lotus Foundations. "Small businesses can't continue to work the way they have in the past -- everyone is being squeezed. Using Lotus Foundations, we help our clients reduce overhead while increasing productivity -- a recipe for success familiar to all small business owners," commented Jay Apple, Chief Operating Office of Dealer Magic.