IBM launches Social Networking software

IBM just unveiled a suite of software products called Lotus Connections that includes tools for posting personal profiles, Web logs (or blogs) and lists of Web bookmarks for creating online communities. The suite also has bookmarks for online work collaboration, as well as a collaboration platform that allows plug-ins to popular products such as Cisco IP Telephony, AOL instant messaging, Salesforce.com CRM and Research In Motion BlackBerrys.

The Connections suite will compete with Microsoft Corp.’s Windows SharePoint Services. SharePoint, a five-year-old product with 85 million users, added social-networking features in its latest version, unveiled in November.

Steven Mills, IBM’s senior vice president who heads the software group, commented, “We’ve been pleasantly surprised by how well this has resonated with corporate buyers.” He said many companies have seen employees start using free Web-based social-networking software because it makes it easy to share information with colleagues. He said, “Businesses want something that’s reliable and recoverable” in case data are lost. In addition, many companies have legal requirements to archive everything written in connection with certain products and financial transactions.

Where’s the Buzz? Web 2.0 tool adoption is showing up in the enterprise. There now are some notable examples in Knowledge Management, Project Management, Collaboration among disparate groups, and efforts to add more value to Business Intelligence. And it makes sense to have it inside your firewall from a legal/compliance perspective.

1 comment to IBM launches Social Networking software

  • Rob

    Thanks Paul – I think this is a pretty big deal for business marketers. IBM has been very aggressive in testing and using social media for their own marketing and other purposes over the last few years, and they’re now seeing this as a serious business opportunity. Whether or not they end up as a leader in providing the platform for other businesses, it’s a huge validation of the approach for B2B marketers.

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