IBM (NYSE:IBM) has reached an agreement to acquire Net Integration Technologies, a Toronto-based provider of business server software solutions for small and midsize businesses. Net Integration's applications include e-mail, file management, directory services, backup and recovery, office productivity tools and other business software. The transaction, expected to close in the first quarter of 2008, will allow IBM to offer Net Integration's flagship solution to its small and midsize business customers directly and through its business partners.

"Small businesses need superior collaboration technology as much as large companies do," Michael D. Rhodin, general manager of IBM Lotus Software, said in a statement. "The difference is that it must be an affordable turnkey package that doesn't require a large investment in onsite IT expertise and resources."