Google, Microsoft Are IBMs Cloud Competitors
Other Lotus Connections apps, such as profiles and blogs, will be ported to LotusLive Connections later this year. IBM said LotusLive Connections will be available on June 30, starting at $10 per user per month. For lovers of the popular Twitter microblogging service, IBM executives will demonstrate a microblogging tool at the Enterprise 2.0 show this week. The tool will appear in Lotus Connections 2.5 later this year.Indeed, enterprise wiki provider MindTouch this week revamped its marketing bent to let the public know that it has a more comprehensive portfolio of services for knowledge workers: the MindTouch Collaborative Intranet. MindTouch CEO Aaron Fulkerson told eWEEK: "Where social tools are very focused on conversations and connecting people, MindTouch is much more about the content, results and objectives. You can think of MindTouch as a kind of content operating system, where we're accelerating your ability to federate data in your existing systems." The Collaborative Intranet, whose backbone is the MindTouch 2009 open-source collaboration platform, will let corporate employees extract content from disparate programs, including ERP, CRM, file servers, e-mail, databases and Web services. Users can edit, comment on and share that data with colleagues. Where an employee previously might have had to log into an ERP system, pull data out and share it with a colleague via e-mail, the employee can now grab the enterprise application data and discuss it with a colleague from the comfort of one MindTouch-created portal. Fulkerson said the Collaborative Intranet was inspired by the hundreds of enterprise engagements, as well as conversations with Fortune 1000 vendors over the last two years to find out their pain points, namely, key data trapped in enterprise apps.
There's no time like the present for IBM to take its Lotus applications into the cloud. Google has been offering Google Docs online word processing, spreadsheet and presentation software for the last few years and Microsoft took its SharePoint collaboration suite to the Web at the end of 2008. These vendors also face competition from feisty startups such as Zoho.