Foundations and IBM, The Empire strikes back!

thumb_white.gifIBM reckons Microsoft has had it to easy in the Small to Mid Market sector. Back in January they bought Nitix, a small Canadian outfit, that have built a self propelling server (Lotus Foundations) around a customised Linux disti. The Nitix box does everything (and more) that the corresponding MS product does:

  • Full featured software appliance 
  • Self-managing, self-healing system 
  • Email and advanced webmail 
  • Office productivity tools 
  • Network level firewall, antispam & antivirus protection 
  • Remote connectivity and VPN 
  • File and print services 
  • Central file management 
  • Automated disk backup 
  • Disaster recovery
IBM pronounce that the whole think can be up and running in 30 mins via a Web UI and can support up to 500 individuals. Good stuff. My colleague Gareth is blogging on this so it will be interesting to see through him how it progresses. 
I don’t think MS will be quaking in their boots, however it does offer small businesses a fully featured offering that hangs together as a logical entity rather than the mish-mash of services they are struggling with at the moment.
A key do this will for someone to to some realistic comparative pricing, the wallet is a great motivator for most small companies. 
Lastly, if IBM can do a deal with Dell then the show will truly be on the road.

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The Empire strikes back? I prefer Asimov's 'Foundation and Empire' as a literary allusion. Either way I think IBM is on to a good thing here but I think they would prefer to bundle Foundations with their own X-Series servers rather than with Dell's products.
I like mixed metaphors.... Knowing IBM Graham, it will be more like Second Foundation :-) As for X-series I think you have to remember the target market, I cannot see X-series having a lot of traction with SMB whereas Dell almost owns that sector.