A recent Forrester Research study -- involving 119 CIOs -- indicated that over 60% of those surveyed showed a "strong desire" to purchase and implement Web 2.0 technologies such as blogs, wikis and other light-weight collaboration tools. Manifesting a classic corporate quandary, those same CIOs also implied that they would prefer to purchase said technologies as a suite from a "large, incumbent software vendor".
Its not music to everyone's ears, but IBM with their new Lotus Quickr product intends to deliver for just such a crowd.
In a timely move, the largest incumbent software vendor this side of Redmond, WA is bringing a new team collaboration suite to market under the well-known Lotus brand. With the introduction of IBM Lotus Quickr, Big Blue hopes that customers will come running for their first commercially available wiki and stay for the shared content library, team workspaces, blogs and business templates.
But beneath the Web 2.0 technology buzzwords and the carefully removed vowel in the product name lies what IBM calls connectors: small applications that integrate Quickr capabilities with other widely available applications.
For example, users can access content with Lotus Notes, Lotus Sametime, Microsoft Windows Explorer and Microsoft Office and then store said content in a Quickr shared library. And coming soon, Microsoft Outlook integration.
Furthermore, IBM Lotus Quickr has the following key features:
* Enhanced usability via Web 2.0 development techniques: The AJAX bandwagon gets a little more crowded as IBM leverages the front-end technology to build a high performing and easily customizable interface to Quickr. Along with the next generation interface, Quickr also includes an advanced content syndication tool that allows users to both publish and consume Atom-based news feeds.
* Open standards support: Quickr integrates with the following applications - Microsoft Office 2003 and 2007, Microsoft Windows Explorer on Windows XP and Windows Vista, IBM Lotus Notes 7 and 8 (with planned support for Lotus Notes 6.5) and Lotus Sametime 7.5. Quickr supports the following browsers - Microsoft Internet Explorer, Firefox and Safari browsers, providing Web access from Windows, Linux, and Macintosh desktops. Also in the works are migration tools to connect Quickr with Microsoft SharePoint and Exchange public folders.
* Support for business processes through templating: Lotus Quickr includes out-of-the-box business templates such as project management, image repository, dynamic surveys and more.
* Enhanced integrity of shared documents: Document and application templates allow users to share ideas as they collaborate, tracking changes as they take place. Quickr's built-in wiki technology provides an in-line web editing option that allows a user to revert back to an earlier version of a page.
With all this included, Big Blue is still looking to the future. Coming enhancements are expected to include integration with IBM's Enterprise CMS products -- IBM FileNet P8 and IBM DB2 Content Manager.
It is not too late to get into the Web 2.0 game. If you have been waiting for a full suite of products from an established vendor, then your wait may be over. Check out the Quickr site for more details on features and pricing.
Are you already using Quickr? Do you have an opinion about a player such as IBM providing a suite of Web 2.0 technologies? If so, jump down to the bottom of this page and let us know what you think.
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