IBM announced the launch of LotusLive, what it calls an integrated social networking and collaboration cloud service designed for businesses.
One of the first features of the service is LotusLive Engage, a platform that includes profile and contact management, online meetings, file sharing, instant messaging, and lightweight project management capabilities, according to IBM’s press release.
The services sounds a lot like Cisco’s WebEx platform delivered via telecoms operator partners, but IBM says the LotusLive platform is ‘built using open, Web-based standards and an open business model.’ The LotusLive services will enable ‘Click to Cloud’ access through integration with on-premise Lotus solutions, which helps extend a company’s existing investment with Lotus. What the services do is enabled Lotus applications and capabilities ‘outside the firewall,’ IBM said.
“Due to the economy, we don’t travel as much. But it doesn’t mean we have to stop business,” said Leslie Moore, Colgate-Palmolive. “Using the collaboration tools allows us to communicate quicker, more effectively, and actually be more proficient working with our employees, and also reaching out to our customers.”
According to IBM, the LotusLive Engage will be priced on a subscription model, not an advertising model. Pricing will be comparable with other offers in the market today.
“In a challenging economic environment, it’s more valuable than ever for companies to come together in the cloud quickly and easily, using powerful communication and collaboration tools that integrate with their existing applications,” said Sean Poulley, Vice President, IBM Online Collaboration & Cloud Services.
Using tools beyond simply email can help companies collaborating on a project work more smoothly and efficiently, the company said. “For example, a construction company could use LotusLive Engage to work with various vendors. The developer, job site managers, architects and others could use LotusLive tools such as an online Meeting to review design changes; File Sharing to store the design documents and updates to those designs; and an Activity to keep track of various components of the project — such as tasks associated with electrical, plumbing and landscaping. All of this information is easily accessible by anyone working on the project, at any time.”
IBM adds that its business partners will also be able to resell the LotusLive services.