Industry Updates

News Updates (October 5, 2009)

IBM vs Google Apps … IBM’s hosted email, calendar and contact management service is expected to be priced lower than Google Apps Premier. “IBM is going after Google Apps Premier hard and has the pricing to show it’s serious. Big Blue is announcing the general availability of LotusLive iNotes, a cloud email, calendar and contact management service, for $36 a year per user. Google Apps Premier runs $50 per user a year. The LotusLive iNotes launch, set to be announced on Monday, pushes reliability in a big way.More
Google Apps offers more capability however.

BlackBerry for Mac … Research In Motion released its Mac sync software. “Like the Windows version, the syncing software enables users to update their BlackBerry smartphones with new firmware, add and remove applications, manage multiple devices, and automatically back up the phone on a schedule. The software will also sync data from Mac applications like iCal, Address Book, and Entourage with the handset. This version of the desktop manager software may also help small Mac-only businesses mobilize with BlackBerry devices.” Available immediately. More
– RIM press release.
– It doesn’t support Exchange integration on Snow Leopard (yet).

LifeSize Passport … LifeSize plans to release its Passport telepresence offering this week, for small and mid-sized businesses. “LifeSize on Oct. 5 will launch its Passport telepresence offering, which company officials say will offer full HD video capabilities in a device that is a third of the size, weight and price of comparable systems offered by Cisco and other competitors …. Passport is also much more affordable than competitors’ devices, he said, at a starting price of $2,499. At that price—for the Focus model—a user gets a basic HD camera. For $3,499 for the PTZ model, the user gets a camera and can zoom in and out and pan an area. Buechler suggested that a comparable Cisco offering would run more than $30,000.More
www.lifesize.com

TelePresence Leading to Less Travel … Businesses with telepresence equipment are sending less dollars to the airlines. “Teleconferencing has come into its own with major corporations slashing their enormous travel budgets in favor of high-tech video and audio equipment. Two leading systems, Halo from Hewlett Packard and Telepresence from Cisco, are feeding the transition from airports to broadband. Major airlines are reporting drops in business travel of close to 30% as companies look for ways to save money and avoid jetlag. Check out the demo videos for Telepresence and a CNET review of Halo after the break.More

NewsGator Social Sites 3.0 … NewsGator released Version 3.0 of Social Sites, its social networking add-on for SharePoint. “The new microblogging feature in Social Sites 3.0 lets users post short, quick Twitter-style status updates to their colleagues. These updates serve as a way to report urgent developments, train colleagues on the fly, identify helpful experts, chronicle off-site conferences, mentor/get mentored, float new ideas, build morale and otherwise harness the value of “weak ties.” Users can comment on one another’s status updates, search across comments and updates, and comment on any activity reported in Social Sites’ activity streams. Status updates can be contributed via email to make it easy for people to push updates remotely and API’s allow integration to and from other systems.” Available immediately. More

It’s All About Shared Practice … Using collaboration tools are basically about shared practice and understanding. “But when it comes down to it, they’re only effective tools if you invest time and effort in making them work for your particular group of users. I’ve learned from the projects I’ve participated in that the greatest success factors for integrating technology into a business include building an understanding of users and removing the barriers to the use of the technology. The technology itself is really of secondary concern. The solutions that are most successful are often the simplest in execution. Understanding how people work and closely matching the system design is one step towards this type of simplicity.More

Other Items
– Lifehackers has a top 10 list of collaboration tools that aren’t Google Wave, including TimeBridge, Textflow, and Campfire.
– IBM Press has a variety of books on collaboration and Web 2.0 coming out.
– The BlackBerry Curve 8520 is now available in Australia and New Zealand.
– Microsoft Bing lost ground to Google for the first time.
– STR Tech released the first SharePoint 2010 newsletter, with some analysis of what’s coming.
– Webinar on embracing the culture of collaboration, on October 15. Registration required.

Categories: Industry Updates