IBM's big annual Lotus Conference, Lotusphere, is taking place right now in Orlando, Florida. Research In Motion is on site as they always are, not only as a sponsor but as great contributors to the event. This year, RIM brought some new and updated business collaboration tools with them to show off that should prove to be a big hit with enterprise folks in the form of new and updated BlackBerry apps for Lotus Quickr and Lotus Connections.
This past Friday I got a run-through of these applications from Valerie Wang, who is Manager, Enterprise Product Management for RIM. While BlackBerry BIS consumers may not be familiar with IBM's Lotus software, there is a good chance those who received their BlackBerry from the company they work for and are running on a BES are. As you can imagine, there is a big overlap between IBM's and RIM's biggest customers out there in terms of organizations that have a lot of BlackBerry Smartphones installed and who are running Lotus, so RIM's focus here and IBM's distribution of the product is a natural fit.
Lotus Quickr is all about enterprise document colloboration - so right from your BlackBerry you can securely share, download, modify, upload documents and files from your device with team members. Lotus Connections is kind of like Facebook for enterprise, allowing you to access Lotus Connections profiles, bookmarks, communities, activities, blogs and more straight from your device. You can even view the chain of command so you know who reports to who and so on. The bigger the company, the more compelling this type of solution gets. What's also cool here is that these apps are running through what's called the SNAP server (Social Networking Application Proxy) which allows for CIOs and IT admins to actually see how these applications are getting used within the organization. Cool stuff.
I've BARELY scratched the surface here. For more info, you can check out the press release below, but better yet, jump on over to BlackBerry.com to view the demos.
RIM Further Mobilizes IBM Lotus Software on the BlackBerry Platform
New BlackBerry Apps for IBM Lotus Quickr and Lotus Connections Allow Secure Mobile Collaboration and Social Networking on BlackBerry Smartphones
ORLANDO, FLORIDA--(Marketwire - Jan. 18, 2010) - Lotusphere - To support the growing interest by enterprises for mobile collaboration and social networking, Research In Motion (RIM) (NASDAQ:RIMM)(TSX:RIM) today announced that it is further mobilizing IBM (NYSE:IBM) Lotus(R) Software on the BlackBerry(R) platform.
RIM is launching today the new BlackBerry(R) Client for IBM Lotus(R) Quickr(R), enabling secure mobile access to IBM's document-based collaboration software from BlackBerry(R) smartphones. RIM is also releasing a new version of the BlackBerry(R) Client for IBM Lotus(R) Connections(R) for enterprise social networking. These applications, along with the BlackBerry(R) Client for IBM Lotus(R) Sametime(R) for unified communications and collaboration, deliver secure, deeply integrated and intuitive mobile experiences for enterprise customers on the BlackBerry platform.
"Just as RIM securely and efficiently mobilized Lotus Domino email on the BlackBerry platform, we are mobilizing collaboration and social networking for businesses," said David Yach, CTO for Software at Research In Motion. "We have built these powerful BlackBerry applications for Lotus Software in order to make it very easy for mobile workers to tap into their enterprise knowledge-bases and stay connected with colleagues; and, equally important, we have made it easy for IT departments to align with corporate policies and efficiently deliver these capabilities in a protected and manageable environment."
The BlackBerry Client for IBM Lotus Quickr makes content sharing easy and secure. BlackBerry smartphone users can quickly and easily navigate IBM Lotus Quickr libraries and folders; upload, preview or download content; and edit files within Quickr's version controls. The application also tightly integrates with the BlackBerry Email application and the Documents To Go(R) suite on a BlackBerry smartphone - allowing users to edit Microsoft Word, Excel and PowerPoint files - for a robust and seamless work experience.
The BlackBerry Client for IBM Lotus Connections extends key IBM Lotus Connections components to BlackBerry smartphones, including the ability to work with IBM Lotus Connections Profiles, Communities, Bookmarks, Activities and Blogs. The Client also tightly integrates with core BlackBerry smartphone applications for phone, email, browser, tasks, contacts and camera to create a seamless and intuitive user experience.
Updates to the server component - the BlackBerry Social Networking Application Proxy server - optimizes the data sent between IBM Lotus Connections or IBM Lotus Quickr and BlackBerry smartphones in order to improve performance and minimize data plan usage. Administrators can also generate usage reports.
The BlackBerry applications for IBM Lotus Quickr and Lotus Connections offer a range of benefits to enterprise customers including:
- Fast access to information - There's no need to launch the browser and log in, and no time spent waiting for web pages to render.
- Optimized for mobile use - The BlackBerry Clients are deeply integrated with core applications in the smartphone for a seamless and intuitive experience.
- Multitasking - The BlackBerry smartphone OS allows multiple applications to run at the same time, which makes them ideal for social networking and collaboration while mobile.
- Market-leading end-to-end security - Integration with BlackBerry Enterprise Server provides very strong encryption and high security standards, a top requirement by CIOs for the use of social networking and collaboration solutions in the enterprise.
- Mobile application management - Leveraging the over-the-air application push capabilities, robust IT policies and advanced controls of BlackBerry Enterprise Server, IT departments can save a tremendous amount of time when deploying these apps, especially when deployments involve hundreds or thousands of users.