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IBM Connects People to People and People to Information With Business Social Software


BOSTON, MA - 19 Jun 2007: At Enterprise 2.0, IBM (NYSE: IBM) today announced the availability of the industry's first integrated social software offering for business -- IBM Lotus Connections.

Featuring a suite of five Web 2.0-based components -- activities, communities, Dogear (bookmarking), profiles and blogs -- Lotus Connections helps people quickly connect and build new relationships based on business needs. With Lotus Connections, users can easily find subject matter experts in profiles, create and join like-minded communities, and exchange ideas and resources through blogging and shared bookmarks.

Lotus Connections helps unlock one of an organization's most valuable assets -- the knowledge within its employee base -- by uncovering hidden pockets of expertise and making them easily accessible. By making it faster and easier to find topic experts, bring together diverse teams around a common point of interest, and access information previously qualified by others, Lotus Connections helps organizations save time and avoid redundancy.

For the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration's (FAA) Disaster Response team, the ability to track information and maintain and share accurate records during a disaster is critical. With Lotus Connections, the Disaster Response team will be able to share and save electronic forms, Lotus Sametime chat transcripts, voice mail messages and other electronic files into related activities. The activities can be accessed by team members located throughout the U.S. to help resolve challenges on the ground and ensure accurate records are maintained for post-disaster reporting to Congress. In addition, the FAA plans to integrate Lotus Connections into its existing portal, making it even easier for team members to access the relevant activity within the context of the work they are doing.

When the FAA is faced with aviation equipment damage caused by a natural disaster, it is imperative that the agency empowers its response teams with the ability to quickly and efficiently capture information associated with the work being done on-site. Lotus Connections will help save valuable time on post-disaster reporting and is expected to be a key tool used by the Disaster Response teams during this year's hurricane season.

Lotus Connections represents a significant opportunity for IBM Business Partners. Gemini Systems, a New York-based systems integrator, is already engaged with customers looking to implement social software solutions in the context of existing systems. For Gemini Systems, Lotus Connections is a new way to extend its portal practice beyond traditional implementations and offer customers a richer set of Web 2.0 and social networking capabilities.

"Our customers are telling us that their users are already using consumer social networking products outside of official corporate portals," said Evan Herbst, managing director, Gemini Systems. "Now, with Lotus Connections we can offer a business-ready solution that adds new social software functionality to existing and new portals for intranets, extranets and internet sites."

IBM is putting social software to work for its Business Partner community by offering a deployment of Lotus Connections exclusively for members of IBM PartnerWorld. Lotus Connections for Partners is a collaborative environment where partners can build relationships regardless of location, business size or area of expertise. This site allows partners to share expertise, explore business ideas and develop opportunities with each other and IBM.

Since its inception in late April, Lotus Connections for Partners continues to generate momentum and attract new partners to IBM PartnerWorld. To date, more than 40 communities of interest have been created within Lotus Connections for Partners on topics ranging from geographic specific subjects to software and industry trends.

With support for open standards and other Web 2.0 technologies such as the Atom syndication format and Representational State Transfer (REST), Lotus Connections makes it easy for enterprises to integrate social software into their existing IT infrastructures and their day-to-day tools.

In addition, Lotus Connections integrates across the Lotus software portfolio, extending the strength of the industry's leading real-time, messaging and portal capabilities with the power of social software. For example, with IBM Lotus Notes 8 and Lotus Connections, customers can combat inbox overload by dragging and dropping email messages related to a specific project directly into the appropriate activity from within their inbox. With IBM Lotus Sametime 7.5.X and Lotus Connections, users can begin a chat session within any of the five components and then share this information by adding the chat transcript to an activity from within the Lotus Sametime chat window. The email and messages can then be easily found by everyone working on that particular activity -- accelerating execution of the task at hand.

Lotus Connections is available for purchase at a list price of $110 per user for full Lotus Connections capabilities and $55 per user for the profiles or activities component. Customers have several flexible purchasing options and can obtain Lotus Connections through an IBM sales person, an authorized IBM reseller or online at www.ibm.com.

For more information on Lotus Connections: www.ibm.com/lotus/connections.

For more information on Lotus Connections for Partners: www.ibm.com/lotus/connections/partners.

For more information on IBM's Web 2.0 Goes to Work initiative: http://www.ibm.com/web20.

IBM, Lotus, Notes and Sametime are trademarks of International Business Machines Corporation in the United States, other countries or both. Other company, product and service names may be trademarks or service marks of others.

Contact(s) information

Erica Topolski
IBM Software Group
+1-617-693-2816
ericat@us.ibm.com

Elena Fernandez
IBM Software Group
+1 617-693-1606
Elena_fernandez@us.ibm.com

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Business partners
Business partner information including strategic alliances
Software
Information Management, Lotus, Tivoli, Rational, WebSphere, Open standards, open source

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