IBM Lotus To Detail LotusLive SaaS Plans

Speaking at the Lotusphere conference in Orlando, IBM Lotus executives are also expected to detail a joint product offering with SAP known as "Project Alloy" that integrates SAP's ERP applications with IBM Lotus collaboration software.

"We have a tremendous amount of momentum in the marketplace," said Bob Picciano, who took over as general manager of the Lotus division in April. Delivering a pep talk to hundreds of Lotus channel partners Sunday, Picciano said Lotus's messaging products grew at a pace 1.8 times that of the overall market in 2008 while the company's unified collaboration and communication software grew 1.9 times faster. Portal software sales grew 1.4 times the market pace while social software grew a 2.3 faster, the general manager said.

Picciano's comments came during "Business Development Day," a series of presentations and sessions for business partners offered the day before the official start of Lotusphere. Picciano also provided business partners with a glimpse of the Monday announcements. will combine Web conferencing, collaboration and e-mail into a single integrated "cloud computing" system using technology from IBM Lotus's Sametime Unyte Events, Connections and Notes products. "This is about market extension," Picciano said, telling business partners that LotusLive will appeal to a whole new set of customers as well as existing clients.

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IBM also handed out awards to several channel partners including Elguji, for having the breakout technology of the year, and to Fritz & Macziol of Germany for being IBM's most effective partner.