IBM has announced a new suite of collaboration services straight from the cloud. LotusLive is their new portal offering a number of collaboration and social networking services. With integration from some solution providers like Skype, LinkedIn and Salesforce.com, IBM customers will be happy to go cloud-jumping.
There are three categories of services offered at LotusLive.com:
Networking and Collaboration
- LotusLive Engage: LotusLive Engage is a set of collaboration services required for online meetings. The toolset is integrated and provides not only web conferencing functionality, but also collaboration features like instant messaging, file storage and sharing, and chart creation.
- LotusLive Connections: LotusLive Connections is complimentary to LotusLive Engage. It offers the same core collaboration capabilities without the web conferencing.
- LotusLive Meetings: Also called Lotus Sametime Unyte Meeting, this is IBM's full service web conference suite which includes web, audio and video conferencing. LotusLive Meetings is IBM's first online service.
- LotusLive Events: Also called Lotus Sametime Unyte Events, this is an online event management service that includes web conferencing and a full set of tools to manage your event from start to completion.
- LotusLive Notes: This is IBM's online version if Lotus Notes is designed for companies with 1,000-10,000 employees. With full support from IBM, it includes email, calendaring, scheduled and a personal edition of Lotus Quickr.
- LotusLive iNotes: iNotes is a web-based secure messaging service that enables you to exchange email and files between individuals and communities.
Partner Integrations with LotusLive
Because it has been built on open standards, integration with third party applications can be done. In addition to their own services, LotusLive is integrated with some partner solutions to make the experience that much richer.
Skype: Skype will provide video and voice capabilities within LotusLive.com. LotusLive users will be able to contact their Skype contacts from within LotusLive and eventually will be able to import Skype users into their LotusLive contact lists.
LinkedIn: LinkedIn will tie its social network into Lotus Notes, Lotus Connections the new LotusLive.com. Three key features of the integration include Network Updates (view LinkedIn updates in LotusNotes, PeopleSearch and Profiles). In addition the LotusLive collaboration will be integrated with LinkedIn and available at no extra charge for current Lotus Notes users.
Salesforce.com: Salesforce.com will integrated its CRM services with LotusLive.com.
IBM Steps in Line with the Others
IBM has been in the collaboration business since 1995, but has just now taken that capability to the online SaaS world. It took them a little while to finally do it, but IBM has stepped in line with other similar providers like Zoho, Microsoft, Salesforce.com and a number of social community providers (think Jive, Atlassian, Awareness, etc..).
The collaboration features of LotusLive are still in Beta, but others are available to either try, demo or sign up for immediately.
This new set of cloud-services may be just what IBM needs to stay competitive and keep the smaller solution providers away from their customers.