Lotusphere has kicked off in Orlando, Florida today and there's a steady stream of tweets coming in already. Some of the big news is centered on IBM's new Social Business Initiative, packed with mobile, cloud productivity and a new social business framework.

IBM (news, site) is its own best case study when it comes to integrating social capabilities into the business -- for everything from enterprise collaboration to marketing to sales and support and more. Which should only mean that they understand the value of social business, both internally and externally.

Today, at Lotusphere, they launch a new initiative mixed with a number of new products/features that will support your own social business strategy. Here's a look:

  • Mobile: The next releases of Lotus Notes email, Lotus Connections and Lotus Sametime will be extended to offer mobile support including the iPad, iPhone, Google Android, Blackberry and Nokia devices.
  • Cloud-based Productivity: IBM is extending its free Lotus Symphony office productivity software into the cloud. LotusLive Symphony is currently in the Lotus Greenhouse (where you preview new Lotus technologies) and is expected to be available in the second half of 2011. This is obviously going to have some affect on Office Web Apps.


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LotusLive Symphony

Social Business Framework

Social capabilities are quickly becoming a core function of everything we do at work -- it's not an after thought and really shouldn't be added on as one. IBM offers their new Social Business Framework for developers, to help guide the process of incorporating social functions into all applications.

The new Social Business Toolkit is a set of APIs built on open standards and tutorials that will assist both partners and developers to integrate social elements into their solutions. A few examples:

  • Lotus Connections and Lotus Domino will include OpenSocial containers
  • A new "Activity Stream" allows feeds from Twitter, Facebook and other social networking sites and third party applications to be available alongside an organization's internal content.
  • ShareBox is a new feature that supports OpenSocial gadgets that will "share" content with other systems like posting content to an ERP system, an Activity Stream and sending an email.

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Activity Stream

IBM is also releasing new mobile software development tools -- IBM Social Business Toolkit, Domino XPages applications and the Open NTF Toolkit (available on OpenNTF.org). These tools will support the concept of design once, but run the application anywhere.

And finally, if you want to develop Domino based collaborative applications but don't have the environment to work in, IBM is offering access to their own compute cloud before the end of June.

Jam with IBM on Social Business

There's a lot to take in here, and we expect to provide more details as they come out. For those who are very interested in what IBM is doing in Social Business, and for anyone interested in making their organization more social overall, IBM is holding a Web-based Social Business Jam from February 8-11, 2011. Sounds like a place you might want to be if you are ready to take your business to the next level.