10 Key Features of IBM Connections Cloud Office Productivity Platform

 
 
By Don Reisinger  |  Posted 2015-10-22
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
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    10 Key Features of IBM Connections Cloud Office Productivity Platform
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    10 Key Features of IBM Connections Cloud Office Productivity Platform

    With IBM Connections Cloud, Big Blue uses its cloud platform to deliver an online workspace for employees to be productive and collaborative.
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    The Core Function: Email Integration
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    The Core Function: Email Integration

    A key feature in IBM's productivity suite is its email integration. The feature provides users with full online email and calendaring and includes support for all of the other platforms in the productivity suite. IBM's email comes with all the familiar features, including spam protection, encryption and more. It also has a slick, intuitive interface.
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    A Full Documents Platform
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    A Full Documents Platform

    Companies that want a replacement for Office can find it with IBM Docs. The cloud-based feature built into Connections allows users to collaborate in real time on documents. The service also includes support for spreadsheets and presentations. One could argue that Microsoft is still offering the most powerful Office solutions, but IBM's offering is just fine for simpler needs.
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    Get Social and Collaborate
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    Get Social and Collaborate

    The social and collaboration features built into Connections are everywhere. For instance, users can sync and share files through the platform. Companies can also form Communities for groups of employees to communicate. An Activities tab helps companies track tasks and ensure work gets done. The Connections cloud platform is all about collaboration.
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    IBM Loves Its Chatting
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    IBM Loves Its Chatting

    IBM has long had a presence in the instant-messaging space, so it's perhaps no surprise that it has built that function into Connections. Employees can engage in real-time, text-based encrypted communications during the day and keep track of each other. In addition, the service includes voice and video support, and keeps a log of conversations so companies can reference them in the future.
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    Online Meetings in High Definition
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    Online Meetings in High Definition

    Online meetings have become one of the more desirable ways for people to communicate; so IBM has integrated that into its service. Users can host online meetings through the platform, host events and share audio. In addition, the online meeting function includes desktop sharing, chat and question-and-answer functions. There's even a polling feature.
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    IBM Gives the IT Side Control
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    IBM Gives the IT Side Control

    What the IT side wants more than anything is the ability to fully control how employees use the platforms they're given. IBM allows for that, providing a centralized tool to manage users, the groups they're in and what they can access. IBM also offers an application development framework for companies that want to integrate certain features into their applications.
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    Full Compliance Support With Archiving
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    Full Compliance Support With Archiving

    Archiving is a critical feature for companies that are worried about compliance support. IBM offers SmartCloud Archive Essentials, which retains data based on IT-set rules and allows for end-user access to recovery lost data. There's also a search function to make it easier to find historical information, like emails.
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    IBM Goes Mobile
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    IBM Goes Mobile

    Mobile applications have become a necessity in the world of productivity, and IBM knows it. The company's applications for Android, iOS and BlackBerry all support its email, meetings, files and instant-messaging features. Mobile users, in other words, can stay on track and keep working even when they only have their smartphones at their disposal.
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    What About Security?
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    What About Security?

    Security is obviously a major concern for companies, so IBM has gone out of its way to say it delivers. The company uses ISO 27001-27002 industry standards and provides enterprise-grade control over privacy, shared assets, auditing and more. IBM says its data-protection efforts are "independently validated through a SAS70/SSAE 16 audit."
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    An Eye on Pricing
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    An Eye on Pricing

    Pricing for IBM's Cloud platform depends on the plan customers choose. The company's Cloud S2, which includes collaboration and instant messaging, among other features, goes for $8 per user per month. IBM Connects Cloud S1, which includes all of the features in Cloud S2 but adds in email and calendar capabilities, among some other options, is available for $10 per user per month. That's about in-line with similar competing services, but it's also worth noting that those who want stand-alone options, such as instant messaging or meetings, can buy those separately.
 

When companies evaluate productivity suites, it's not uncommon to talk about Microsoft's Office 365, Google Docs or even Zoho Docs. IBM, however, may be another company worth looking at when it comes time to evaluate cloud-based office productivity platforms. Big Blue uses its cloud platform to deliver an online workspace for employees to be far more productive than they otherwise would be. IBM Connections Cloud is designed to enhance collaboration and handle critical features in the office, including email and chatting among employees. The offering even includes a Docs function for those seeking alternatives to Microsoft's Office and other productivity suites.  The platform also has capabilities for online meetings in high definition.  Mobility and security are also part of the mix. In this slide show, eWEEK digs deep into IBM's Connections Cloud workspace and examines key features that may make it a suitable option for companies that have historically relied on the likes of Microsoft and Google for cloud-based productivity.

 
 
 
 
 
Don Reisinger is a freelance technology columnist. He started writing about technology for Ziff-Davis' Gearlog.com. Since then, he has written extremely popular columns for CNET.com, Computerworld, InformationWeek, and others. He has appeared numerous times on national television to share his expertise with viewers. You can follow his every move at http://twitter.com/donreisinger.
 
 
 
 
 
 

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