IBM Sees SaaS as Driver for Social Business in the Cloud

By Darryl K. Taft  |  Posted 2014-01-29 Print this article Print

"IBM’s new web mail experience is very intuitive and integrated with key social business capabilities. This will help our people be more efficient in prioritizing and managing daily work, including tracking requests and follow-ups in a powerful yet simple experience," said Berry van der Schans, Information and Communication Technology Manager for Shanks Group Plc, in a statement.

IBM also plans to introduce Domino Applications in the cloud through a ready-made Platform as a Service offering built on IBM SoftLayer. As a result, customers will be able to build on the investments they have made in custom applications and enhance them with new mobile options. Partners will also have a faster path for bringing their new Domino applications to cloud and getting them to market more quickly.

Moreover, IBM is teaming with business partner Parallels to integrate with its innovative cloud automation platform, making it easier for partners that distribute IBM products to assemble and sell unique cloud offerings. For example, a telecommunications company can use IBM’s new plug-in to easily combine and provision its cloud offerings from IBM and other Parallels-ready vendors, such as SugarCRM. This streamlines the business process of delivering cloud services through a reseller channel.

IBM is also introducing a new certified set of global partners that provide on-boarding services that make it easier than ever for clients to deploy their mail to the cloud.

Furthermore, IBM’s independent software provider (ISV) partner ecosystem continues to grow. To date, hundreds of unique Connections-based applications have been developed using APIs from the IBM Social Business Toolkit. For example, ISVs such as AppFusions, Flow, HootSuite and Kaltura have built entirely new cloud and on-premises applications on the IBM Connections platform.

HootSuite, for example, created a new social application integrating IBM Connections capabilities and content into the HootSuite dashboard. This allows data from corporate social networks to be viewed alongside social media data from Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and other networks so employees can be even more empowered, connected and informed.

Najarian said that IBM has worked to understand the specific characteristics of organizations that are finding success with SaaS. "One thing we found was that companies that are winning in adopting SaaS have a strong alignment between line of business and IT," he said.

IBM’s SaaS portfolio has much more depth and breadth than similar portfolios from the likes of Oracle, SAP and HP, said Najarian. IBM’s portfolio consists of SaaS solutions from recent acquisitions including DemandTec, Unica and Coremetrics, as well as organically grown solutions and a combination of the two, he said.


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