Research In Motion (RIM) makers of business friendly BlackBerry Smartphones and IBM have announced that the companies will soon be offering Lotus collaboration tools. The new features will help customers find expertise, form teams, share information, and stay in touch in real time making them more effective and productive while on the go. Also announced are new tools for BlackBerry developers.
This initiative is in response to the explosion of mobility worldwide. IBM’s Institute for Business Value predicts one billion mobile Web users by 2011 and a significant shift in the way the majority of people will interact with the Web over the next decade.
“The new Lotus collaboration features and developer tools on the BlackBerry platform will deliver productivity beyond the office extending IBM software and services so that individuals can access all of the resources they need to keep their business moving, anytime, anywhere,” said Bob Picciano, general manager, IBM Lotus Software.
“Team collaboration shouldn’t stall when employees are on the road or away from their desk,” said Jim Balsillie, Co-CEO, Research In Motion. “RIM and IBM are strengthening the BlackBerry platform for Lotus with a portfolio of enterprise social networking and collaboration capabilities that will make BlackBerry smartphones even more effective in mobilizing businesses around the globe.”
At Lotusphere this week, attendees will get a sneak preview and demonstrations of the following offerings which will work with BlackBerry smartphones beginning later this year:
- Mobile access to Open Document Format (ODF) based IBM Lotus Symphony documents (with support for presentations and spreadsheets to be added at a later date);
- IBM Lotus Quickr Web 2.0-based team software to help individuals find, access, share and work with business content such as documents, photos, and videos on their BlackBerry smartphones; and
- Enhanced IBM Lotus Connections functionality for access to activities, blogs, and communities (augmenting the access already available to profiles and tags).
IBM and RIM will also preview something new for developers – BlackBerry® platform support for IBM Lotus Domino Designer and XPages. The BlackBerry® Java® Development Environment (BlackBerry JDE) for Eclipse plugs into IBM Lotus Domino Designer, making it easier to develop new software applications for BlackBerry smartphones. BlackBerry platform support for XPages enables developers to write a rich application once, which is optimized for both web and secure use on BlackBerry smartphones. For more information about Designer and XPages, visit http://www-01.ibm.com/software/lotus/products/dominodesigner.
IBM and RIM are rolling out these features and tools for BlackBerry smartphones in the coming months: Symphony document viewing and the new capabilities for Connections will be available in the second quarter; and the Quickr and Designer offerings are planned for availability in the second half of 2009.
Additionally, IBM Lotus Notes, Domino and Sametime unified communications and collaboration software, which has worked on the BlackBerry platform for several years, is now also compatible with the new BlackBerry® Storm™ Smartphone. The companies recently made a new presence and awareness-everywhere feature available. This is made possible by the new BlackBerry® Client for Lotus Sametime, which provides Smartphone customers with real time communications capabilities throughout the Smartphone’s applications.
IBM has a rich background in providing mobile software and services and supporting the BlackBerry platform. For more than eight years, IBM Global Services has managed and maintained BlackBerry® Enterprise Servers for its outsourcing customers.
Leveraging this experience, IBM delivers a comprehensive set of services that will allow IBM’s clients to transform their enterprise operations by bringing together the combined power of the BlackBerry® Enterprise Solution, IBM Software offerings, and IBM Global Technology Services. In conjunction with telecommunications providers around the world, IBM already provides this service to more than 120,000 commercial users worldwide.
For details about how customer Toshiba America Medical Systems and Videotron use IBM and the BlackBerry platform to enhance their workers’ productivity out of the office, visit http://na.blackberry.com/eng/newsroom/success/tams.jsp and http://na.blackberry.com/eng/newsroom/success/videotron.jsp. Several other leading companies are also customers.