“Open Document Format (ODF) comes of age”

Wow, that’s quite an opening statement (emphasis mine):

IBM Lotus Symphony Turns 1.0

06/03/2008

Open Document Format (ODF) comes of age today as IBM (NYSE: IBM) announces the commercial-grade, general availability of Lotus Symphony (http://symphony.lotus.com/software/lotus/symphony), a suite of free, ODF-based software tools for creating and sharing documents, spreadsheets and presentations.

This announcement affirms IBM’s commitment to evolving office productivity software from static, financially draining software to a dynamic, cost-effective tool that allows businesses to invest in more innovative pursuits.

While Lotus Symphony remains a free, easy download from the Web with free online, moderated support, IBM is also announcing fee-based services to support the needs of large organizations. This optional service, IBM Elite Support for Lotus Symphony 1.0, delivers unlimited remote technical support at a level consistent with other IBM software products via an annual subscription to IBM’s Passport Advantage or Passport Advantage Express volume licensing programs.

Lotus Symphony could save a company with 20,000 employees $8 million in software license fees or potentially more than $4 million in software renewal fees. If it chose to switch to Symphony for only half of its employee population, it could still save several million dollars in license or renewal fees, even if it subscribed to IBM’s Elite Support services at $25 per user for 1,000 employees.

The eBiz article goes on to say:

“Major technology vendors are lining up to support ODF — even those previously opposed to it,” said Steve Mills, SVP of IBM Software. “Symphony — backed by enterprise customer support services — is ready for business.”

A growing number of businesses are considering decisions to renew their Office licensing agreements, and move up to Office 2007 and Vista. Lotus Symphony 1.0 provides a timely and cost-effective alternative tested by nearly one million people worldwide and backed by IBM.

Good to see such positive press for the Lotus Symphony release.

Stuart McIntyre is a Senior Strategist at Fostering Community Limited. He curates a number of product-focused news sites, is a lapsed podcaster, founded the Social Connections user group and regularly speaks at conferences and events. This blog represents his own slightly-eccentric and usually-controversial opinions!