Integrating IM into Portals

Web portals will evolve into places on the Internet where people can contact and collaborate with each other and with businesses, according to a top IBM Corp. executive. As those portals become more important, they’ll depend on a number of factors, including instant messaging (IM).

IBM Vice President of e-Portal Solutions for IBM Software Larry Bowden says that major improvements in portal technology, including the integration software that links a portal’s front and back ends, can give users one point of access from various devices, whether they be wired or wireless. “These advancements meet one of the primary goals of companies doing business on the Web — making relevant information easily accessible to employees, business partners and customers, while driving profits in the process.”

As portals turn into these one-stop shops for information, they’ll depend on:

  • Real-time collaboration services, including instant messaging, discussion areas, group calendars, task tracking and shared document libraries with check-in/check-out services
  • Personalized delivery of content/applications which gives people access to information and applications specific to their functions
  • Integrated applications that bring together enterprise applications, syndicated content, Web sites, e-mail and workflow integration, among others

In addition, open and nonproprietary computing standards like XML and Linux, which allow businesses to connect easily and flexibly with one another, are crucial to achieving this kind of integration, he also said.

After integration issue is solved, Bowden says that the next step is to extend the reach of the portal and improve the context for which the information is used by incorporating such items as location-based technologies and intelligent notification into the portal experience.

Bowden is set to describe recent advancements in portal strategies and technologies, and what those advancements mean to business, with Silicon Valley executives and technologists at this Challenge-the-Expert program at the Silicon Valley World Internet Center on Tuesday, January 15, (tonight) from 6:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. PST.

IBM is an executive sponsor of the center, which focuses on the advancement of Internet-related markets, technologies, people, and ideas through the collaborative exchange of knowledge.

Bob Woods is the managing editor of

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