Tools & Technologies

News Updates — Lotusphere 2009 Special (January 20, 2009)

IBM’s annual user conference — Lotusphere 2009 — is on this week in Orlando FL. Here’s the breaking news from the first day.

IBM and RIM Work Closer … IBM and Research In Motion announced new integration points between IBM’s software and the RIM BlackBerry, including access to Lotus Symphony documents from the BlackBerry, IBM Lotus Quickr access from the BlackBerry, and extended support for IBM Connections by the BlackBerry. There are also new development capabilities. “The new features will help customers find expertise, form teams, share information, and stay in touch in real time making them more effective and productive while on the move.More

IBM and SAP Announce Alloy … IBM and SAP announced the forthcoming release of Alloy, an integration tool for Notes and SAP Business Suite. “Alloy connects IBM Lotus Notes software with SAP Business Suite to get people to the core of their business. Alloy is a new style of software application that presents information and data from SAP applications in the context of what millions of business users are familiar with — the Lotus Notes collaboration software desktop. This will make it easier for professionals to do their jobs and enhance the investments they have made in their SAP applications …. Alloy supports SAP workflows, reporting and analytics, and the use of roles from within the Lotus Notes client. The product ships with a set of standard workflows and reports. These standard elements may be customized using standard Lotus Domino and SAP tools to reflect a company’s unique processes.” Available March 2009. More

IBM LotusLive … IBM announced LotusLive, a collection of hosted services for Lotus software. “LotusLive is built using open Web-based standards and an open business model allowing it to easily integrate with third party applications. Today Lotus previewed several examples of “Click to Cloud” — the ability to seamlessly link on-premise solutions with LotusLive services. “Click to Cloud” will help customers extend the value of their existing investments by making it easy to bridge solutions inside the firewall to the cloud. IBM also previewed compelling business partner application integration. IBM announced partnerships with Skype, LinkedIn and that will deliver integrated collaborative solutions to an audience of more than 400 million people worldwide.” LotusLive was previously being developed under the code name of Bluehouse. Available in 1Q2009. More

More coverage:
– at eWeek, it’s called a challenge to Microsoft Windows Live and Google Apps.
– at Collaboration Matters!, Stuart calls out the partnering strategy.
– at TMCnet, the integration between Skype and LotusLive is discussed. “Skype’s voice and video calling will add rich, real-time communications capabilities to LotusLive, making it even easier for enterprises to collaborate in the cloud.

Other Announcements
– the Opening General Session featured many announcements, including updates of Notes 8.5, Domino Designer 8.5, Connections 2.5, and more. Ed Brill has a timeline of announcements from the session.
– there is a new integration between Lotus Notes and LinkedIn. “Its primary purpose is to display information relevant to the people in your Emails, as well as providing a handy way to browse through some of LinkedIn’s most oft-used features (like your news feed and search). However, the plugin does not yet automatically look up the contacts mentioned in your Emails – you’ll still have to click on their names or use the pre-populated search to look them up (automatic lookup is planned for a future release).” There is also an integration with Lotus Connections.
– Gregg notes the main new things in Domino 8.5, such as storage reductions, password simplification, directory independence, and more.
– Microsoft called into question recent IBM announcements about the growth of Lotus Notes and other IBM products, arguing that the world is shifting to Exchange and SharePoint.
– Elguji Software won the 2009 CTO Innovation Award. I have written about Elguji IdeaJam here. Congratulations to Bruce, Gayle and Matt.

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