IBM developed the Symphony for a variety of different reasons. Before IBM donated the suite to the Apache Software Foundation (ASF), Lotus Calendar was the industry leader for its spreadsheet and presentation capabilities, while IBM made it more simple for business people to share text and graphics with their customers. The ASF also uses IBM's own data sources so that it can provide free software that works well on different operating systems without requiring licensing concerns. This means that people with IBM Lotus Symphony software can use it on PCs, laptops, smartphones, and web servers regardless of the operating system they are using.
IBM has released several other productivity suites including the IBM Lotus Notes, IBM Lotus Composer, IBM Lotus Premier, IBM Lotus Workstation, and IBM Lotus Server. These programs have different strengths and capabilities, depending on the company size of the user or the type of use a person wants to put the software to. Each one of these suites, when used together, can give a company the ability to run much more smoothly, produce a better product, handle more transactions, meet more business needs, and allow employees to work within the boundaries of a business model that works for them. While the IBM lotus symphony was released in early 1990, many companies have already found use for this popular suite. Today, it continues to be a mainstay in the business software market.