IBM Expands LotusLive On-Demand Lineup


The company also unveiled a new "virtual collaboration" service for its Lotus Sametime communications and collaboration application that lets users set up virtual meeting spaces.

LotusLive Connections is the newest addition to the LotusLive Software-as-a-Service application suite that IBM debuted at its Lotusphere conference in January. That line already includes LotusLive Engage, a collection of online services including Web conferencing, Notes messaging, online file sharing and storage, contact management and activity management.

LotusLive is particularly targeted at SMBs, which Lotus general manager Bob Picciano, in an interview, called "a tremendously underserved market of intercompany collaboration."

Like the on-premise version of the software, LotusLive Connections helps individuals, departments and even companies collaborate on projects, share materials and identify people who are subject experts -- either within a firewall or outside. LotusLive Connections will be available June 30, priced starting below $10 per user, per month, according to IBM.

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Virtual Collaboration for Lotus Sametime, which IBM also calls "Sametime 3D," provides a virtual meeting space where participants' avatars use text, voice chat or both to communicate with people from their Sametime contact list, share presentations and other materials, and take notes.

IBM also debuted a new release of its free Symphony suite of personal productivity applications that can import Microsoft Office 2007 files. IBM said that ability would make it easier for Office users to switch to Symphony.