IBM, SAP Ally on Alloy for Enterprise Collaboration

IBM and SAP drop the "Atlantic" code name of their messaging and collaboration and enterprise application mashup in favor of Alloy. Launching in March, Alloy lets users access SAP Business Suite reports and analytics from IBM's Lotus Notes 8.5 e-mail client. The combination could be a harbinger of things to come for enterprise mashups.

ORLANDO, Fla.-Atlantic, the joint enterprise application initiative IBM and SAP announced last year, is coming to life this March as Alloy, IBM officials said at Lotusphere 2009 here Jan. 19.
Alloy mashes up IBM Lotus Notes e-mail and collaboration software with SAP Business Suite, allowing enterprises to access SAP reports and analytics, procurement, data, and product life cycle management tools from their Lotus Notes e-mail, said Kevin Cavanaugh, vice president of messaging and collaboration at IBM Lotus.
IBM Lotus and SAP share thousands of customers, so the vendors thought it would be a good idea to mash up their core strengths to provide customers such as Colgate-Palmolive and Arla Foods with an integrated experience.
"Metals get stronger when they're mixed to create alloys," Cavanaugh told the crowd. "Alloy is a better solution, not only because of our two-way cooperation but because of the work of our design partners."
In addition to SAP and Notes reports, Alloy supports workflows, such as travel and leave requests, out of the box and custom workflows created with Lotus Domino Designer.
IBM Global Business services, SAP practitioners, Lotus Domino business partners, and other global and regional systems integrators will be available to customize Alloy. Both companies will offer customers Alloy.
Partnerships between systems vendors such as IBM and enterprise apps makers such as SAP are hardly new, but the intimate nature of Alloy brings a fresh, Web 2.0 twist to collaboration.
Just five years ago, it would have been unheard of for IBM and SAP to mesh each other's code with that of another software provider.
The rise of mashups in the enterprise helped Alloy come to fruition, as vendors are increasingly trusting each other's code for the betterment of their customers and, ultimately, their businesses' bottom lines.
However, while present in iterations such as IBM-SAP's Alloy, mashups are scarce in the enterprise because of a lack of solid security and interoperable standards.
The name change from Atlantic to Alloy is IBM's second product name change of Lotusphere 2009.

Earlier today, IBM renamed its Bluehouse SAAS (software as a service) collaboration and social networking services for enterprises as LotusLive Engage, the first of what will be a suite of LotusLive apps to rival Google Apps and Microsoft Windows Live cloud computing software.