Government // Mobile & Wireless
Commentary
2/11/2010
07:27 PM
Jake Widman
Jake Widman
Commentary
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IBM Brings Its Collaboration Software To The Mac

As part of its drive to make sure its software works across an open set of platforms, IBM has announced that several Lotus collaboration and social applications now support the Mac and the iPhone.

As part of its drive to make sure its software works across an open set of platforms, IBM has announced that several Lotus collaboration and social applications now support the Mac and the iPhone.IBM's Lotus division specializes in "enterprise collaboration tools," says Lotus general manager Alistair Rennie. "Collaboration is no longer just a basic set of capabilities, but a way to increase the velocity of business." One of the drivers, he continues, is the consumerization of IT: employees see the social capabilities of consumer technologies and want to take advantage of them in business as well.

At the same time, he says, "The Mac is becoming an increasingly important element in the enterprise," and Lotus has a "complete commitment" to delivering its applications in native Mac format. IBM is taking the opportunity afforded by Macworld Expo, now underway, to announce several new Mac versions of Lotus products.

One of the new offerings is a Mac version of Lotus Notes -- the e-mail, calendaring, messaging, and more application -- and the Domino server it runs on. Not only can Mac-based businesses use the capabilities of Notes, they can create custom collaboration applications. The Mac version supports xPages, which enables developers to create Domino apps with a modern, Web 2.0 look and feel.

Another part of the portfolio is Lotus Sametime, a package of unified communication services. Sametime supports such features as instant messaging and peer-to-peer video and integrates with telephony systems to, for example, enable users to add someone to a conference call by dragging their icon from their buddy list. The goal, says Rennie, is to enable employees to "find, reach, and collaborate with" each other.

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Lotus Social Software enables employees communicate with each other in order to "harness the wisdom of the crowds." It supports blogs with comments, wikis, bookmark sharing, file sharing and other such team-building and collaboration features.

All three of these packages also have iPhone components, whether native iPhone apps or browser-based versions. And in all cases, Rennie assured us, the Mac and iPhone versions are not just clients for applications that still have to run in Windows: they can be used by a business that's Mac-only.

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