Adam Gartenberg's Blog

Business Analytics and Optimization, IBM and Social Marketing

Introducing Lotus Foundations Reach

If you're unfamiliar with Lotus Foundations, it's "a family of software appliances that provide the essential software businesses need to focus on running the business, not managing computer systems." Designed for operations with 5-500 people, Foundations Start provides email, web mail, office productivity tools, network firewall, anti-spam & anti-virus protection, remote connectivity, VPN, file and print services, and disaster recovery on a self-managed, self-healing appliance. It is very cool and has been generating quite a bit of buzz lately.

Today, the team announced Foundations Reach, which adds Unified Communications & Collaboration capabilities to the platform.

The new Lotus Foundations Reach solution customizes and extends the IBM Sametime UC2 capabilities in a single appliance designed specifically for SMBs that have limited IT skills and smaller budgets. In about an hour, a business can install and configure its entire UC environment in a system small enough to fit under a desk.
Moreover, several telephony vendors are also using Foundations Reach as a platform to extend their solutions into the small business market:
  • EnVision Solutions LLC is combining IBM Lotus Foundations Reach with its current suite of applications to deliver an enhanced collaboration package of solutions for the SMB market.
  • NEC is creating a version of its UNIVERGE Sphericall communications software that can be downloaded to Foundations to create a complete UC and business collaboration solution specifically designed for SMBs and branch offices.
  • NextiraOne Mexico will extend Lotus Foundations Reach with its IP telephony technology to deliver a complete communications and collaboration offering to help growing businesses.
  • ShoreTel is incorporating its IP telephony platform with IBM Lotus Foundations Reach to provide a complete unified communications and collaboration solution designed specifically for SMBs.
  • Speech Design is combining its Fixed Mobile Convergence (FMC) solution with Lotus Foundations Reach to create a Mobile Unified Communications appliance, which offers telephony and presence, FMC, messaging, IM as well as audio and Web conferencing in a single solution for SMBs.
I want to congratulate the Foundations team - which has been working day and night to bring this offering to market. While Sametime has always been popular with small businesses, Foundations' ability to make deployments really simple is going to carry us places we couldn't have reached otherwise. (If there's any doubt, I installed Reach on a virtual machine on my laptop in under 40 minutes - with only a handful of clicks.)  And, as a platform, Reach can bring the benefit of unified communications & collaboration solutions to the small business owner with minimal investment.