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At IBM's Lotusphere this year (Feb. 1), IBM rolled out strategies for Cloud and Social Media.
IBM identified 5 ways that partners could benefit from the Cloud. They are as follows:
- Cloud Application Providers - deliver business apps via a subscription model through the cloud such as SAAS
- Cloud Builders - design, build and manage clients’ cloud needs, typically integrating with existing infrastructure.
- Cloud Infrastructure Providers - provide a public cloud infrastructure or Platform as a Service (PaaS) on which app can be hosted.
- Cloud Services Solution Providers - resell multiple public cloud services and offer complementary services such as training and integration.
- Cloud Technology Providers - provide the tools, services, and technologies, such as cloud management, billing metering and monitoring — that help clients use the cloud more effectively.
These are ways for VAR's to stay in the business of providing applications and associated services.
According to some PR sent my way, " IBM is the largest consumer of social technologies. As a company, IBM takes social networking seriously - to develop products and services, to enable sellers to find and stay connected with clients, to train the next generation of leaders, and to build awareness of Smarter Planet among clients, influencers and other communities. IBM will showcase how it is poised to help clients exploit this transformation of a social business delivering new software, services and skills resources to help organizations adopt best practices, policies and software to transform their businesses, including: (1) New Cloud software and services that delivers a cloud-based office productivity suite; (2) New software to help companies and governments socially enable their business processes using the most successful mobile devices, including tablets, such as the iPad, iPhone, Google Android, RIM's Blackberry and Nokia devices."
See how they worked Cloud and social networking into that press release? Google Juice!
"IBM intends to offer a cloud-based version of LotusLive Symphony, an office productivity suite that will give organizations a social platform that enables them to simultaneously collaborate on documents in the cloud. LotusLive Symphony in the cloud complements IBM's on-premise, free of charge, office productivity suite, IBM Lotus Symphony." I didn't know IBM offered free office software.
In its collab suite, IBM will turn the inbox into the Activity Stream that feeds in twitter, LinkedIn, Facebook and SAP through the Social Business toolkit. (Yeah, it says SAP in the release.)
Meetrix is an IBM Partner that offers IBM's enterprise-class Sametime Server in the Cloud. "Combining Meetrix with Broadworks Connector provides unique capability for Broadworks operators to deliver a full featured, over the top Unified Communications and Collaboration (UC 2) offering to business-class customers." Simple Signal is using this service. Meetrix is the only partner for Hosted Lotus Sametime presently, which allows Meetrix to offer "businesses access to enterprise-class UCC features such as instant messaging, chat, presence, awareness, document and presentation storage and sharing, audio and video, web conferencing and e-signature capabilities through SAAS." Note: digital e-Signature. [pr]
I'm guessing that this will compete against Microsoft Linc. I'm also guessing that the marketing and branding of this will take some time, which they don't have. The key may be the Activity Box and the digital e-Signature capabilities. At least, that's what I would be featuring in my marketing. It should be interesting to see, especially if other Broadsoft CLEC's jump on that wagon.