CMSWire spends a fair amount of time bringing you news and information about products or services that help you integrate SharePoint data into your other systems. It's pretty rare to find a vendor who doesn't want to integrate with Microsoft's flagship CMS system.
If there was ever to be one though, it should come as no surprise that IBM is that vendor. The newest release of their Collaboration software, Quickr, comes with a content integrator tool designed to help organizations move away from the dreaded viral software that SharePoint is fast becoming to the software company that use to claim that "viral" title.
It's not to say that IBM or any of it's partners aren't also offering solutions that integrate IBM products with SharePoint, because they are. But it appears that IBM is trying to position itself as the software of choice over SharePoint for collaboration capabilities Web 2.0 style and to Microsoft overall.
Lotus Quickr 8.1
Lotus Quickr, IBM's collaboration software, enables organizations to find, access, and share business information in various formats (documents, photos, videos). It contains the ability to create blogs, wikis, content libraries and seamlessly connects with productivity software like MS Office and Lotus Notes.
This latest release of the software includes the following enhancements:
* New connectors for Microsoft Outlook and Lotus Symphony: Allows users to access content in the Quickr environment directly from Outlook or Symphony
* New administrative dashboard: A centralized view into the entire Quickr environment includes statistical reporting on activities and the ability to set policies
* Lotus Quickr Entry: Provides users with a personal file sharing space so they can provide links to documents and not have to include them as attachments in emails.
* Enhanced usability features: automatic versioning of documents, simplified navigation, automatic population of a what's new section as documents are versioned.
Quickr Content Integrator
The IBM Lotus Quickr Content Integrate is based on technology from CASHAL Technology, a partner who has provided a number of Microsoft to Lotus migration tools. It helps to migrate information contained in systems like SharePoint, Exchange, Lotus Domino Document Manager libraries and Lotus Domino team room apps into Quickr. This is done through a series of wizards and templates.
IBM is banking on customer's growing dissatisfaction with SharePoint and providing a solution that they claim is much better, easy to use, and easy to migrate business data to.
"Content is king, and Lotus Quickr helps businesses share and use their data, regardless of where it was created," said Jeff Schick, vice president of social networking, IBM Lotus Software. "With the new features in Lotus Quickr and Lotus Quickr Content Integrator we have made it easy for companies to migrate their content from IBM software or competitive products into Lotus Quickr and get working right away."
Can IBM Steal a Chunk of the SharePoint market?
With the ever expanding list of software tools and technologies coming out from IBM that support this Web 2.0 style collaboration, it's likely that they will start to get more attention from organizations, particularly those who already have an investment in products like Lotus Notes and Lotus Domino. PCWorld talked with Casahl CEO Harry Wong who indicated that IBM needed to move fast and sell customers on "on Quickr vs. SharePoint; on Lotus Notes 8 and its Outlook-like interface and integration with Lotus Sametime and Connections; and convince bigger Domino shops the J2EE version of Quickr will provide the scale that SharePoint currently lacks".
Part of the challenge in getting a chunk of the SharePoint market is that Lotus software is not free and SharePoint Windows Services (WSS) is. So even though SharePoint collaboration capabilities like blogs and wikis still leave a bit to be desired, they have them and a very robust document library capability with all the bells and whistles for versioning, workflows, security, integration with Office and more. In an eWeek article, Forrester Research analyst Rob Koplowitz says that it in most cases it won't be a case of either SharePoint or Lotus, but a combination of the two. This means IBM needs to focus on integrating the two toolsets and not banking on organization dropping SharePoint completely.
It will be interesting to see how many new customers Lotus Quickr gets that were former SharePoint customers. Would you consider switching from SharePoint to Quickr?
For those of you who use Lotus Notes and SharePoint, keep an eye out on CMSWire on Wednesday for a new product announcement from an IBM partner that should provide some relief to your email attachment woes.