ORLANDO, Fla.-Research In Motion co-CEO Jim Balsillie celebrated the 10th anniversary of the company's BlackBerry mobile communication devices by unveiling new tools to help IBM Lotus become more valuable to BlackBerry users seeking to tap into their enterprise data from the road.
Speaking at Lotusphere Jan. 19, Balsillie said RIM has created a new BlackBerry client for IBM's Lotus Sametime instant messaging and Web conferencing application that supports file transfer, public groups and enhanced presence capabilities to let business users find each other and collaborate on the go.
RIM's BlackBerry smartphone users can now access IBM's Lotus Symphony word processing documents, with the eventual capability to use presentations and spreadsheets from Symphony, built on the Open Document Format, as an alternative to Microsoft Office. Lotus Symphony document viewing will be available in the second quarter of this year.
IBM's Lotus Quickr team collaboration software will enable users to use and share documents, photos and videos on their BlackBerry smartphones. Lotus Quickr team room will be available in the second half of 2009. Balsillie said:
"You can take all your desktop collaboration with you on the road, editing Symphony documents and sharing them with your teammate using your Quickr solution."
Also in the second quarter, IBM Lotus Connections social networking apps running on BlackBerry phones will let users access activities, blogs and communities; previously, BlackBerry users could only access Connections' profiles and tags tools.
For developers, Balsillie unveiled BlackBerry platform support for IBM Lotus Domino Designer and XPages.
Specifically, the BlackBerry JDE (Java Development Environment) for Eclipse plugs into IBM Lotus Domino Designer, making it easier for programmers to write new apps for BlackBerry smartphones. Meanwhile, BlackBerry platform support for XPages allows developers to write an app once for both Web and secure use on BlackBerry smartphones.
Finally, Balsillie said IBM Lotus Notes and Domino e-mail and IBM Lotus Sametime unified communications and collaboration software will now run on the BlackBerry Storm smartphone.
These fruits of tighter integration between IBM and RIM come as enterprise mobility is exploding. Balsillie cited IBM research that estimated 1 billion mobile Web users by 2011, emboldening RIM's commitment to enterprise mobility.
He added that RIM's Blackberry Curve, Storm and Bold rank among the world's top smartphones for businesses.
Enterprise mobility is so hot that application developers for leading vendors are creating versions of enterprise apps that run on consumer-oriented smartphones such as Apple's iPhone. Cisco Systems, for example, recently released WebEx for the iPhone.