IBM (NYSE:IBM)  has announced plans to expand its portfolio of software products designed and priced for companies with five to 500 employees. IBM Lotus Foundations is an upcoming line of small business software servers installed onsite, to be offered primarily through resellers. In addition, IBM introduced a managed beta of a Web-delivered service codenamed "Bluehouse" that provides extranet services to small and midsize businesses.

Lotus Foundations and Bluehouse will be available in easy to buy and manage packages. Based on Linux, Lotus Foundations will provide server software that requires minimal technical expertise and is autonomic. It's expected to include Lotus Domino mail and collaboration platform, file management, directory services, firewall, backup and recovery, and office productivity tools. Bluehouse offers a suite of collaboration services, such as contact, file and project activity sharing, as well as chat and Web meetings.

"Small-and-medium sized business represents a significant growth opportunity for IBM," Mike Rhodin, general manager of IBM Lotus Software, said in a statement. "Our SMB approach -- which combines easy-to-deploy, self-managed, on-premise servers with Web-delivered, extranet collaboration services -- uniquely empowers SMBs to succeed in any market."