Industry Leader Q&A with IBM's Antony Satyadas

Antony Satyadas is Marketing Strategist for IBM Lotus Software.  He focuses on global marketing strategy and leads competitive initiatives for IBM Lotus Software. In this issue, Satyadas explains the market needs driving IBM's new desktop software initiatives and discusses how that market segment is rapidly evolving.

LinuxLine: This fall, IBM launched the IBM Client for Smart Work. What is that?
Satyadas: The IBM Client for Smart Work enables you to deploy a desktop strategy that allows you to reduce costs of ownership up to 50% and at the same time increase organizational productivity. It is an optimized workspace with built in productivity and collaboration capabilities that can be embedded in business processes. It is compatible with, and complementary to SOA-based IT environments and empowers users with a complete, open, easy to use, and security-rich alternative to closed and costly Microsoft desktop software.

LinuxLine: Which organizations is IBM partnering with on this initiative?
Satyadas: We are closely partnering with Canonical, Virtual Bridges, Red Hat and a broader ecosystem of regional systems integrators, ISVs, solution providers, and hardware providers as well as governments and educational institutions.

LinuxLine: What is the offering comprised of? What are the options for this new Microsoft desktop alternative?
Satyadas: There are a variety of options for users. You can start with Lotus Symphony and access to LotusLive on UNR on a Netbook. You can boot up into Lotus Notes and Symphony on Ubuntu using a memory stick. You can reuse existing laptop/desktop with Lotus Notes/Lotus Symphony/LotusLive on Ubuntu or Red Hat. You can add a variety of other collaboration capabilities on premise, on the cloud, or with an appliance. You can use virtual Linux desktops using VERDE from Virtual Bridges for identified user segments.

LinuxLine: Linux is a key component of the offering.
Satyadas: Yes. Ubuntu primarily, Red Hat in certain markets, and SUSE Linux Enterprise Desktop for certain customers. You can lower the TCO and raise the ROI of IT up to 50%. Cost savings come from software license, desktop and server hardware, and operations. Check out a TCO calculator at  or  

LinuxLine: Is it the recession that is creating the need and opportunity for IBM Client for Smart Work, or are there other factors coming into play?
Satyadas: Sure, one of the key value propositions is about lowering TCO, and so in that respect, the recession did help make enterprises more aware of this. But, the need for ICSW goes much beyond the current recession. This is about flexibility and choice of delivery models and client devices, being able to leverage best-of-breed capabilities, and the opportunity to innovate by embracing the desktops of the future today. ICSW brings together the strengths of collaboration, virtual desktops, and alternate delivery models.

LinuxLine: Are organizations ready to embrace an alternative to Microsoft?

Satyadas: There is a significant increase in interest and readiness. The timing is right with customers at a decision point around Windows XP to Windows 7, Microsoft 2010, virtual desktops, and netbooks.

LinuxLine: How can enterprises and other organizations take advantage of these new options? Are they available directly from IBM?
Satyadas: Work with your IBM/Canonical/Red Hat Business Partner or IBM direct sales contact.

LinuxLine: The introduction of IBM Client for Smart Work in the U.S. also closely followed the launch by IBM and Canonical of a new personal computing software package for netbooks and other thin client devices in Africa. Do you feel that other emerging markets will benefit as well from the new package?
Satyadas: Absolutely. ICSW gives the opportunity for developing countries to leapfrog into the 21st century.

LinuxLine: Looking ahead, in 5-10 years, how do you think the concept of desktop will be different than it is today?
Satyadas: Iincreasingly, there will be anytime, anywhere access and interaction using any device based on your role and related business processes. The user interface, content creation and consumption paradigms as well as embedded smartness are all undergoing warp speed changes.

LinuxLine: The 17th annual Lotusphere conference will be held January 17-21 in Orlando. Will the new IBM Client for Smart Work for be a key area of focus at the event?
Satyadas: Yes. Come and attend ICSW sessions, demos at a variety of peds, and more surprises we have in store. Sign up at

Join Antony Satyadas for a dialog through his blog.