ibmDirect from Lotusphere 2008

Mike Rhodin, General Manager Lotus Software, reminiscent of Steve Jobs (Mike made the analog during his keynote today, January 21) using the internal memo envelope to pull out the Mac Thin, unveiled the first Lotus appliance.

Mike announced the IBM Lotus Foundations, a cigar-box appliance containing Lotus software for small businesses. The appliance is a complement to the new IBM Software-as-a-Service offering called 'Bluehouse' which enables corporate-wide contacts, file sharing (that's a Quickr feature), online meetings (with Unyte) and with business partners, other services for CRM, mobility, IM federation(?) and the like.

I'm hoping to get more details on the offer in an analyst-only session this afternoon. This sounds a lot like the Hardware-as-a-Service model written about in this report. 

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