NEW YORK — IBM took over the American Natural History Museum’s
Hayden Planetarium here today for a chance to push not only its portfolio of
collaboration software for the enterprise but also Microsoft.
IBM Lotus Symphony is free suite of applications that includes Lotus Symphony Documents, Lotus Symphony
Spreadsheets and Lotus Symphony Presentations. IBM also created a
social network of sorts to go with the applications. There, users can
download the editors, clip-art and document templates.
Lotus Symphony is designed to handle the majority of office
productivity tasks that workers typically perform, according to a
statement. Google, which announced application called Presentations
today, frequently pitches its Google Apps at the same level of workers.
During a press conference following the presentation in the
planetarium, IBM Lotus general manager Mike Rhodin described Lotus
Symphony as part IBM’s efforts to be an active participant in the
Open Office community.
He said Microsoft, IBM Lotus’s primary rival in the enterprise space, should follow suit. “We would like Microsoft to endorse, support and join the Open Office initiative,” Rhodin said.
The rest of the Lotus news involved upgrades to its existing
portfolio of products.
Lotus Notes is now available via enterprise hosting as a pay-as-you-go service, which will cost $5 to $10 dollars per month, per user
Rhodin said. He also said that Lotus
Notes Traveler, a mobile client for Lotus Notes and Dominio 8.0.1 is
currently scheduled to be available in the first quarter of 2008.
The company also touted an upgrade to its file-sharing software Lotus
Quickr, called Lotus Quickr Content Integrator. It’s designed for
administrators to import content from Lotus Domino document
manager libraries and team rooms, as well as Microsoft Outlook public
folders and Microsoft SharePoint sites.
To cap it off, Rhodin and company announced a new version of Lotus
Forms and new accelerators for IBM Websphere Portal customers.
according to a statement, are tools that help customers create,
connect and share content through professional networking tools.
Despite a perhaps long list of news, most of the day was spent
pushing Lotus products on Enterprise buyers in attendance. To help,
IBM invited Forrester Research analyst Erica Long on stage. Among
other things, Long explained to the executives in attendance that
social networks such as Facebook weren’t just for kids anymore.
companies represented in the room better figure out how to include
some of the technologies IBM Lotus offers, Long said, or risk falling
It was all a very earnest effort from a company that’s tried to
unseat Microsoft as the dominate player in enterprise software for
During the press conference, one reporter asked why it sounded like
he’d heard all of this from IBM Lotus before.
IBM senior vice president Steve
Mills fielded that question.
“It’s no secret that anything you do is based on what you’ve tried
to do in the past with varying degrees of success.”