Lotus Connections Learns to Speak “Social Web”

IBM on Tuesday announced a series of new social networking tools and features for its
Lotus Connections 2.5 software, giving users an opportunity to better customize and
manage their collaborative enterprise applications.

IBM and all the other top-tier business application providers including Microsoft,
Google, SAP and Oracle have made no secret of their desire to bring
consumer applications derived in the social networking arena into the enterprise to
improve productivity, collaboration and drive new sales.

“With Lotus Connections, we have merged document sharing and social networking
capabilities to create a comprehensive collaboration platform for businesses,” Jeff
Schick, vice president of IBM’s social software group, said in a statement. “Today’s
announcement showcases how IBM is delivering easy access to a company’s two most valuable
assets — people and information.”

Connections 2.5 now includes a new Web-based file sharing library for users to update
and securely share presentations and documents. The software includes tagging, rating and
recommendation features that help colleagues view, share and provide feedback on

The update improves upon the “Communities” section by letting workers customize their
pages, add and move around widgets on the main community page. It adds photos and what
IBM is calling a more conversational feel to the collaborative pages.

IBM officials said the wiki service will let users create, view, edit and contribute
to content that’s uploaded to the collaborative Web site. The “Profiles” service now
features a micro-blogging feature for workers to post status updates on the projects
they’re working on, ask for help and offer comments on projects as they progress.

It also adds integrated mobile support for the iPhone and Nokia S60 mobile devices
that allows users to access the Lotus Connections “Profiles,” “Activities” and blog

IBM said NEC Electronics and Sogeti are among the early adopters of the new
Connections collaboration platform.

Separately, Big Blue announced what it’s calling the BlackBerry Enterprise Services
solution, a comprehensive managed service designed to ease the inherent
support and management headaches
associated with BlackBerrys and other mobile

The service consolidates the technical, administrative and licensing costs of the
BlackBerry Enterprise solution, allowing enterprises to project and budget mobility costs
and optimize BlackBerry Enterprise Server environments to scale with business demands,
IBM officials said.

Article courtesy of InternetNews.com

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