IBM: E-meetings Save $4 Million a Month

According to Al Zollar, general manager of IBM's Lotus Software division, Big Blue is saving $4 million a month by conducting e-meetings using Lotus' Sametime application.

Al Zollar, general manager of IBMs Lotus Software division, detailed during his morning keynote address at the Collaborate East Conference & Expo in Boston Wednesday, IBMs company-wide deployment of Lotus applications, revealing that Big Blue is saving $4 million a month in travel expenses by conducting e-meetings using Lotus Sametime application.

Thats part of $400 million in annual savings IBM has enjoyed since deploying Lotus Dynamic Workplaces solution, Zollar said. The Dynamic Workplaces initiative, which is the cornerstone of Lotus contextual collaboration strategy, includes Lotus technology for e-meetings, e-learning and instant messaging as well as employee directory lookup, knowledge and expertise management and customizable portals.

"Were moving collaboration from a stand-alone environment into embedded capabilities," said Zollar, sounding a now familiar note on contextual collaboration.

IBM conducts 4,000 e-meetings a month, using Sametime, Zollar said, with more than 60 percent of Big Blues some 300,000 employees using Sametime for instant messaging.

Zollar said IBMs Blue Pages, an employee directory lookup system built on Lotus Discovery Server software, was the most commonly used intranet application at IBM. He also said that a simple task like consolidating news sources through the employee portal has saved the company more than $2 million that it would have spent on clipping services. The portal, known as W3, is built on IBMs WebSphere application server technology.

"Content governance is one of the most popular offerings," Zollar said, describing how users can manage control of the content they receive through the W3 portal.

W3 provides users with access to content, applications and collaborative communications, Zollar said.

"Weve equipped our employees for the journey to the dynamic workplace," he said.

In news at the show Wednesday, Akiva Corp. released IdeaCenter, a document management and collaboration platform that integrates documents, profiles and user forums like message boards, e-mail lists, ranking, feedback and online polling in a central repository, using hierarchical groups.

IdeaCenter features document versioning and content searching for all document types as well as integrated instant messaging. Offered as a hosted solution, IdeaCenter is targeted to enterprises with less than 1,000 employees. Pricing is $10 per user per month with a 10-user minimum.

Also at the show, NCast Corp. added support for high-resolution graphics in its presentation software, unveiling its True SVGA Graphics for Telepresenter M2 appliance.

The new graphics support allows Telepresenter M2 to capture and display graphics output from a laptop or PC so that presenters can show audio, video and graphics to an unlimited number of participants, all from within a self-contained appliance, NCast officials said.

The appliance is used for videoconferencing and interactive presentations, such as a PowerPoint presentation over IP networks.

The True SVGA Graphics support allows Telepresenter M2 to handle photos and other digital images of resolution up to 1024X768, officials said.

Pricing for the appliance is $9,000.

In other news at the show, Spectel Inc. extended its audioconferencing appliances to the small-to-medium enterprise space with the release of the Spectel MeetingManager, which can handle up to 60 concurrent participants. Pricing ranges from $20,000 to $40,000 based on the number of ports required.

Lastly, NexPrise Inc. showed off its new nProcess Platform, a business process automation platform for discrete manufacturers. The platform, which NexPrises business applications are built and deployed on, is used to automate traditionally paper-based business processes like notices of engineering changes or non-conforming materials.

It adds new capabilities to NexPrises applications capabilities, including an authoring studio, a flexible data model, support for object definition and mapping, improved graphical workflow and extended integration.

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