IBM which was side lined for a while in the social, communication and the general what is hot computing arena came out waving victory flags today. The new flagship product in the cloud, Lotuslive brings together most business related online users by integrating, it's own Lotus Online with Linkedin, SalesForce.com and Skype. This is taking a front seat at cloud applications like Google Apps (which we use) and Microsoft Office Live, under the moniker, LotusLive. Given that the clouds are nothing new to IBM, I think they will move ahead, faster in the business face of it. If they are to present the product in an attractive manner, say free Lotuslive Lite, there might be other users like, SMBs who wants to take a taste of the lotussphere.
Another feather in the cap is the effort to work closely with Blackberry to provide business services through mobile Web. See another post on Skype and IBM Collaboration.
Following is the press release by IBM.
ORLANDO, FL - 19 Jan 2009: LOTUSPHERE -- At the annual Lotusphere Conference, IBM (NYSE:IBM) unveiled plans to help businesses build a smarter workforce by providing software services to help people work together across the enterprise, on the move and via the cloud.
IBM today announced IBM LotusLive (www.lotuslive.com), a cloud-based portfolio of social networking and collaboration services designed for business. LotusLive.com will serve as a single destination for all IBM Lotus online collaboration tools, including social networking, e-mail, file sharing and Web conferencing. LotusLive will help businesses of all sizes simplify and improve the way they interact with their customers, partners and suppliers.
LinkedIn, an online network of more than 34 million business professionals, today announced a partnership with IBM Lotus to integrate LinkedIn's functionality and networking capabilities with IBM Lotus Notes, IBM Lotus Connections and LotusLive.
With the planned Lotus Notes integration, LinkedIn members will be able to keep track of their professional network via a Network Updates feed. Users will also have seamless access to LinkedIn profiles from within their Lotus mail and applications.
IBM intends to combine the best of business and professional social networking sites allowing people to expose LinkedIn information from the millions of LinkedIn public profiles directly into Lotus Connections.
The planned LotusLive integration will connect the LinkedIn network with LotusLive. LotusLive users will be able to search LinkedIn's public professional network and then instantly collaborate with members using the LotusLive services.
Salesforce.com plans to integrate LotusLive services with its CRM applications, helping simplify and improve customer interactions. Businesses will be able to extend the customer and opportunity management work done in the Salesforce CRM applications with the Web conferencing and task management capabilities of LotusLive.
In addition, Skype has announced plans to integrate its voice and video service with LotusLive collaborative services to create a seamless communications experience. This level of integration can allow LotusLive customers to have the convenience of being able to call Skype contacts from within their LotusLive contacts.
Making New Connections with Micro-Blogs and Wikis
The latest version of Lotus Connections takes popular features from consumer social networking sites and puts them to work for business. A new personal "posting wall" and micro-blogging capabilities will make it easy for people to quickly share short, yet critical pieces of information. Based on customer demand, IBM plans to add a new wiki service to Lotus Connections. Wikis are Web pages that quickly and easily allow people to create and modify content in real-time.
Lotus Connections is being used by industry leaders worldwide. McKesson, the world's largest healthcare services company, chose Lotus Connections for enterprise social networking to improve workforce efficiency and attract and retain top talent who expect advanced collaboration tools. McKesson also sought to be among the first pioneers in the healthcare industry to adopt social networking and benefit from the open extensibility of Lotus Connections, allowing integration with Microsoft SharePoint and Vignette Portal.
"We're excited to broaden our collaboration tools to help encourage information sharing and idea generation across our diverse workforce," said Anand Srinivasan, development manager at McKesson. "With hundreds of facilities across the country, our use of Lotus Connections technology will enable us to more effectively tap into our collective intelligence to continue helping our customers improve health care."
Mobilizing the Worker with Lotus on the BlackBerry®
Another major pillar of a smart workforce is equipping individuals with the power of the mobile Web to innovate and collaborate efficiently anywhere, at anytime. IBM's Institute for Business Value predicts one billion mobile Web users by 2011 and a significant shift in the way the majority of people will interact with the Web over the next decade. Addressing that market opportunity, IBM and Research In Motion (RIM) will bring new advanced social software features to BlackBerry smartphone business users worldwide. The new features will help BlackBerry smartphone users find expertise, form teams, share information and stay in touch in real-time, making them more effective and productive. They will also bring mobile business users far beyond e-mail to live expertise and collective intelligence.
Lotusphere attendees will get a sneak preview and see demonstrations of new capabilities for BlackBerry smartphones which will be available later this year. They include access to open document format-based IBM Lotus Symphony documents, presentations and spreadsheets; IBM Lotus Quickr Web 2.0-based team software to help individuals find, access, share and work with business content such as documents, photos and videos; enhanced Lotus Connections functionality for access to activities, blogs and communities, augmenting the access already available to profiles and tags; enhanced Lotus Sametime capabilities; and new tools for developers.
SAP and Lotus Notes Make Core Data Easy to Use
IBM and SAP announced the planned March release of their first joint software product, called Alloy™. IBM and SAP showcased successful early results of this product with several customers, including Colgate-Palmolive and Arla Foods.
Alloy by IBM and SAP connects IBM Lotus Notes software with SAP Business Suite. Providing workers with access to critical business information in an intuitive, easy-to-use interface, it will enable timely, more informed business decisions. Employees can benefit from increased business analysis, information in context and the power to run their business operations directly from their Lotus Notes desktops.
For more information, including product and service availability, visit www.ibm.com/software/lotus.