BlackBerry Links To Lotus Connections

The software includes central management controls for IT administrators through integration with the BlackBerry Enterprise Server.
Research In Motion on Wednesday unveiled an application for accessing Lotus Connections, IBM's social software for businesses, on BlackBerry smartphones.

The new application, called BlackBerry Client for IBM Lotus Connections, is designed for wirelessly sharing information within professional networks. It works just like the desktop version of Lotus Connections. The only difference is the information sharing and collaboration now can be done on a BlackBerry.

"Organizations are embracing social networking tools to improve productivity and enable workers to find the experts and information within their organizations that can help them get their jobs done more effectively," said Mike Lazaridis, RIM's president and co-CEO, in a statement.

RIM said the software could improve internal communications inside companies by allowing employees to wirelessly share information using features such as mobile access to subject matter experts by name or topic and access to colleagues' "pre-vetted" bookmarks, meaning the ability to search for them using tags.

The BlackBerry Client gives IT administrators the necessary controls to centrally manage how employees use Lotus Connections on their BlackBerrys through integration with the BlackBerry Enterprise Server, which enables device management and "push" wireless e-mail on the smartphones.

RIM will be showcasing the software at next week's IBM Lotusphere conference in Orlando. The commercial product will be available as a free download later this year, according to RIM.

Earlier this week, RIM rolled out several new updates to its BlackBerry platform, including improved address book integration with IBM Lotus Sametime and Microsoft Live Communications Server. The new updates to the BlackBerry Enterprise Server and BlackBerry device software are meant to improve messaging and productivity tools on BlackBerry smartphones, tighten security, and give administrators better tools for monitoring, alerting, troubleshooting, and reporting.