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IBM Takes on Google with Social Cloud Apps - InternetNews.
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IBM Takes on Google with Social Cloud Apps

As the cloud brings enterprise applications together, it also gives companies new competitors. Today, IBM (NYSE:IBM) and Google (NASDAQ: GOOG) (among other cloud app providers) faced off at the Enterprise 2.0 conference over cloud-based applications.

Scoring an upset over Google Apps was IBM's LotusLive Connections, which is so new it's not available until June 30, 2009, but the IBM product won the Enterprise 2.0 Cloud Computing Buyers' Choice Award.

LotusLive Connections offers profiles that list employees' expertise so that others can find them, blogs so that experts can share knowledge and learn from each other, add a dogear to bookmarks and share information, Activities for project collaboration, and brings it all together in one unified home page.

IBM's social cloud software is fully integrated. Other LotusLive cloud services include LotusLive Engage for collaboration, LotusLive Meeting for voice and video conferencing, LotusLive Events for registration and ticketing of large meetings, LotusLive Notes Web mail, and LotusLive iNotes file sharing.

Today's businesses are hyper-extend ed, meaning that employees work with others who are outside the business office.

Bob Picciano, IBM Lotus Software general manager, told InternetNews.com that in this context, good collaboration software is necessary for managing project basics such as ensuring that everyone's working towards the same goal, knows what's due when, and so on.

"Our activities capabilities are particularly helpful for organizing work efforts across enterprises," Picciano said.

IBM is rapidly expanding its cloud portfolio. Last week, the company unveiled a cloud-based Sandbox for developers.

There will be more. "We're proud of the deliveries we've had," said Picciano. "Expect further LotusLive announcements throughout the year."

With a cloud computing infrastructure, the applications are instantly available worldwide. "And they're built on a lightweight browser format," said Picciano. "They will not slow you down."

"Some of the capabilities of Cisco WebEx require heavyweight plugins for browsers, so in the first few minutes, everyone's asking each other, 'can you see the meeting,'" he added.

IBM's LotusLive Connections will be available on June 30, 2009, and will be priced below $10 per user per month, Picciano said.