IBM Offers Low-Cost LotusLive Cloud Software Package

IBM this week will offer for the first time an on-demand version of its Lotus Notes messaging and collaboration application.

The move is one of several additions IBM is making to its LotusLive cloud collaboration services. The company is also debuting a low-cost bundle of LotusLive applications and adding new community features based on Lotus Connections.

LotusLive Notes, priced at $5 per user per month, is based on the same messaging software that has been IBM Lotus' flagship product for years. Until now the software was not available as an on-demand service because IBM had to develop multi-tenant capabilities into the Notes Domino platform, said Sean Poulley, IBM vice president of cloud computing, in an interview.

LotusLive Notes, available starting Oct. 5, provides e-mail, shared calendar, instant messaging and contact database services.

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IBM is also launching a LotusLive collaboration suite package that combines e-mail, calendaring, instant messaging, Web conferencing, file sharing and social networking services for $10 per user per month. Poulley said those services would cost $17 per user per month if bought through the LotusLive Notes, Connections and Meetings packages.

NEXT: New "Communities" Feature Added

The company is also enhancing LotusLive with a new capability called Communities that allows users to tag information, share files and bookmarks, track new projects and host discussion forums across multiple organizations.

IBM also unveiled two third-party applications that are now integrated with LotusLive. Contact information can now be imported into Tungle Corp.'s online scheduling and calendar system from the LotusLive interface. And LotusLive users can view and annotate documents from their browser using a link to Bricsys' Vondle document, data, task and report-sharing service.

Poulley said IBM Lotus partners are playing an increasingly important role in selling the cloud services, but he acknowledged that the channel doesn't account for as many LotusLive sales as he would like. He sees opportunities for partners to provide integration, on-boarding and help desk services around the on-demand applications.

To that end IBM is developing new capabilities in LotusLive that will make it easier for partners to work with the on-demand services. Some additions, for example, would give solution providers more administrative control over LotusLive. "And that's critical for partners," Poulley said.