IBM SmartCloud for Social Business

By Darryl K. Taft  |  Posted 2012-01-16 Print this article Print


According to AMI Partners, small and medium-size businesses in the United States will spend more than $49 billion on cloud services in 2015, nearly double the size of the market today. To address this growing opportunity, IBM today is announcing IBM SmartCloud for Social Business, a secure suite for collaborating in the cloud. IBM is aligning its LotusLive services under the SmartCloud brand, where it joins other IBM offerings in commerce, analytics and industry-specific solutions like Smarter Cities, IBM said.

SmartCloud for Social Business gives users one-click access to social networking, online meetings, enterprise-class email, calendaring and instant messaging, allowing clients to collaborate inside and outside the organization while pairing business transformation with the economic benefits of flexible cloud delivery models.

A new capability in SmartCloud for Social Business is a cloud-based office productivity suite, IBM Docs. Now in beta and planned for availability in 2012, IBM Docs is a social document platform that allows organizations, both inside and outside the firewall, to simultaneously collaborate on word processing, spreadsheet and presentation documents in the cloud to improve productivity, the company said. IBM Docs authors will be able to store and share documents in IBM SmartCloud Engage, co-edit documents in real time, or assign users sections of the document so they can work privately, easing the management of multiple revisions from multiple authors in team-based documents.

To advance the adoption of IBM SmartCloud for Social Business, IBM also introduced its Social Business Toolkit for LotusLive. This enables customers and business partners to integrate custom applications that interface with LotusLive services, IBM said. Developers can use IBM's OpenSocial APIs to get access to Profiles Contacts, Meetings, Files and Communities data. Companies can add their own custom actions to the LotusLive Web experience. Organizations also can now easily deliver these applications into a single end-user experience leveraging standards-based extension points, authentication and encryption APIs.

To help its customers integrate social networking capabilities into their existing business processes, IBM announced IBM Connections Enterprise Content Edition, an integrated social content management system that combines the scalability of social networking with enterprise content management and the compliance controls required by regulated industries. Designed to manage the entire life cycle of office documents, Web and social content, IBM Connections Enterprise Content Edition increases the ability to share knowledge, gain expertise and create high-value content quickly through advanced content, document management and workflow use cases.

And in response to the burgeoning mobile workforce, expected to reach more than 1.19 billion people by 2013, IBM's new social software supports the most popular mobile devices, including tablets, the company said.

"What you'll see at Lotusphere is analytics, analytics, analytics and mobile, mobile, mobile," Schick told eWEEK. "You'll find that you can do all this social business on mobile, and we're supporting iOS, Android, BlackBerry and Windows Phone."

Indeed, IBM announced the beta release of IBM Lotus Notes and Domino, Social Edition, a social-enabled messaging and collaboration platform built on open standards that provides users with the ability to act on any workflow process directly within the email inbox. Whether accessing email from a browser or desktop, or sharing videos and files, users no longer have to travel to a third-party site.

IBM intends to support Microsoft Windows Phone in a future release of IBM Lotus Notes Traveler, which enables people to use IBM mail, calendar and contacts on mobile devices. IBM expects to support Nokia Lumia, HTC and other Windows Phone devices in the future, the company said.

IBM is also introducing a new, lower-cost program for BlackBerry users to access email in the cloud. Built on the world-class expertise of IBM Mobile Enterprise Services and the sophisticated security of the BlackBerry Enterprise Server, IBM's offering ensures that cloud email environments deliver the same level of security and reliability as existing on-premises email environments, including built-in end-user and administrative controls for mobile device management. 

Darryl K. Taft covers the development tools and developer-related issues beat from his office in Baltimore. He has more than 10 years of experience in the business and is always looking for the next scoop. Taft is a member of the Association for Computing Machinery (ACM) and was named 'one of the most active middleware reporters in the world' by The Middleware Co. He also has his own card in the 'Who's Who in Enterprise Java' deck.

Submit a Comment

Loading Comments...
Manage your Newsletters: Login   Register My Newsletters

Rocket Fuel