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IBM's Vulcan

At this week's Lotusphere IBM introduced Project Vulcan

At this week's Lotusphere IBM introduced "Project Vulcan", it's road-map for integrating public and private collaboration and social communities into an extensible set of user interfaces. Ed Brill notes that Vulcan "is the blueprint for where Lotus Notes is going." Vulcan continues a trend by IBM to merge Notes into public social networks, highlighted by last year's announcement of LinkedIn integration with Notes.

IBM's announcement, coupled with Cisco's recent introduction of public social hooks into its Enterprise Collaboration Platform demonstrate a continued convergence of public and private social networks. These moves highlight the reality that social network such as LinkedIn, Twitter, and Facebook are increasingly used for legitimate business purposes rather than for entertainment or catching up with friends and family, but they also raise alarms for those responsible for governance, compliance, and security. I expect that over the next year we'll see a continued battle between those responsible for information protection and those looking to improve collaboration. Vendors can help their odds of success by addressing compliance concerns up front.