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Sametime to Get ASP Hosting, Customization

IBM Corp. said it is planning to introduce new licensing, deployment and customization services for Lotus Sametime, its presence, instant messaging (IM) and e-meeting software.

IBM will host Sametime through its IBM Global Services division. Its customization options, meantime, will provide customers with e-meeting technology combined with the purchasing and deployment flexibility that meets their business goals, company officials said.

"Having a choice between self-managed and hosted services adds convenience and flexibility for our customers," said Michael Loria, director of Advanced Collaboration, Lotus Software, IBM Software Group.

"Enterprise customers have identified security as their top priority for conferencing applications," said Jim Gant, vice president of e-Business Hosting Services, IBM Global Services. "The combination of security-minded software, such as Lotus Sametime, and IBM Global Services' focus on secure hosting services, will give our customers the peace of mind to focus on their core strengths and business goals."

With these new licensing and deployment options for Lotus Sametime, line-of-business managers will have the option to easily implement an immediate, secure collaboration solution without engaging IT resources for administration and deployment. The new options also provide customers "with faster and more cost-effective ways in which to utilize the technology and business benefits of Lotus Sametime," IBM also said.

The premise-based offering of Lotus Sametime and hosted services from IBM Global Services are available today on a customized basis. Pricing and availability for customization services from IBM Software Services for Lotus will be available midyear.

Lotus Sametime includes instant messaging, e-meetings, white boarding, screen sharing, audio- and video-conferencing, wireless instant messaging and instant multilingual translations -- all specifically designed for business use.

Bob Woods is the managing editor of InstantMessagingPlanet.com.