IBM’s Portal WebSphere Adds Integration

With the burgeoning market for software that allows users to share
information, IBM introduced a new version of its WebSphere
Portal software that features content management, business process
integration and virtual portal support.

WebSphere Portal for Multiplatforms allows clients to enjoy the fruits of
business process integration by linking together enterprise applications
with collaboration, search and content management tools. Users can create
portlets that automate the myriad daily transactions, such as completing
expense reports or booking travel arrangements.

The software is also designed to accommodate clients with a heterogeneous
infrastructure, providing faster installation and support for virtual
portals, according to a statement. Each virtual portal maintains its own
look and feel as customized by the end user. However, each can share
platforms and applications while maintaining a separate space on the server.

Bundled with a new version of Lotus Workplace Content Management, the
software also features real-time search and document management technology
to help customers retrieve information faster, a benefit for customers concerned
about abiding compliance rules.

With a set-up time of roughly one hour, WebSphere Portal for Multiplatforms
will be available by Nov. 30.

IBM considers WebSphere Portal its “gateway to the on-demand collaborative
workplace,” because it lets a client centralize information. Big Blue’s
broad on-demand plan for software is to provide products that allow
customers to access information in real-time.

Enterprise portals are popular in businesses because they allow employees to
control the way they locate documents, e-mail, instant messaging, Web
conferencing and third-party applications.

Portals improve productivity by allowing workers to call up information
faster than they might on a non-integrated system and help staffers
orchestrate business processes on multiple systems.

Competition in the portal software market, where IBM is widely acknowledged
as the leader, is intense. Microsoft’s
SharePoint and SAP’s Enterprise Portal
are Big Blue’s biggest rivals. According to WinterGreen Research, the market
for enterprise portals is expected to grow to $1.2 billion by 2009.

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