New IBM Web 2.0 Portal Software Breaks Down Barrier Between Enterprise and Web


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LAS VEGAS, NV - 09 Apr 2008: IBM (NYSE: IBM) today announced that its new portal software with Web 2.0 support will ship this quarter. Called IBM WebSphere Portal 6.1, it is designed to securely combine information from both the enterprise and the Web.

A portal is a technology for providing external and internal Web sites which can deliver information, applications, and processes to provide a personalized experience to individuals. Web 2.0 technologies are increasingly being used for business by empowering people with content, social connections and other tools to solve problems.

IBM is not new to the portal industry. In fact, the number of IBM portals customers has grown 15 percent to 6,000 in the past year. Per the most recent IDC report*, IBM WebSphere Portal has maintained its #1 ranking in the Enterprise Portal market segment for the fifth year in a row. For details, visit http://www.ibm.com/press/us/en/pressrelease/21900.wss

IBM has gathered feedback from 4,000 beta testers of its new portal software. As a result, the company has made several improvements, making it a more powerful choice to help teams collaborate, innovate and execute. The beta version was tested by companies in a variety of industries worldwide including financial services, healthcare, government, telecommunications, security and IT, including IBM systems integrator Ascendant Technology.

"We've been testing WebSphere Portal version 6.1 and fully expect it to exceed the expectations of our customers," said Jim Deters, President, Ascendant Technology, a company that sells service oriented architecture (SOA), Portal and Business Process Management software and services. "The significant Web 2.0 capabilities and enhanced deployment and administrative features of this new release will address the top requirements our customers have been requesting."

"This is a first-of-its-kind Web 2.0 portal because it helps users interact with the information and people they need around the clock, from the Web and from within an organization," said Larry Bowden, vice president, Portals and Web Interactive Services, IBM. "A portal is important because it's the first step in implementing any SOA strategy," he added.

SOA is a business strategy that helps a company reuse existing technology to more closely align it with business goals resulting in greater efficiencies, cost savings, agility and productivity. According to a recent report from Wintergreen Research, IBM holds 64 percent marketshare in SOA, up 11 percent year to year.

IBM announced WebSphere Portal 6.1, new portal accelerators, and other Web 2.0-related news at the IMPACT conference in Las Vegas, Nevada, this week. The event is host to 6,000 people who are discussing ways to make their businesses more flexible using SOA.

The expanded Web 2.0 features of IBM WebSphere Portal 6.1 software will help people be more productive and find key information faster. Its new live text tagging feature allows a user to click on text, in context of the business process being used, and see supporting information right there related to the job at hand.

For example, a sales representative clicks on the address of his customer and a map with directions appears; or he clicks on the name of the customer and an electronic business card pops up.

IBM's new software also has the ability to instantly update any aspect of a web page without the need to do an entire page refresh, for example, when a person makes an update while placing an on-line order. The elimination of this wait time makes the user's experience more satisfying.

The portal software will also enable new classes of applications to be created in a much more intuitive and responsive fashion, as well as offer new portlet functionality and increased portal security. It will feature an assembly of highly interactive composite applications with dynamic, contextual access to data and services both inside and outside a company.

Other new features include out-of-the-box templates and site creation tools, more installation options, and new portal "Site Wizard" for self-help. The new portal supports IBM AIX, HP-UX, IBM I5/OS, Red Hat Enterprise Linux, SUSE Linux Enterprise Server, Sun Solaris and Microsoft Windows Server.

IBM also announced at IMPACT that three of its accelerators and the beta version of a new entry-level forms product will ship this quarter. An accelerator is a software package that can be easily snapped on to IBM WebSphere Portal.

The first two accelerators are designed to help users respond more quickly to new business opportunities. IBM Dashboard Accelerator 6.1 for WebSphere Portal will integrate business intelligence software from IBM-Cognos and several other companies. IBM Dashboard Accelerator is a proven software tool used for rapidly building a dashboard, which is an intuitive visualization of information customized to a specific job role or point of view.

The second, IBM Content Accelerator 6.1 for WebSphere Portal, includes simplified authoring templates used for creating quick content like blogs. It also will have richer in-line editing to enable users to easily create folders, sites or site areas.

The third, IBM Business Process Accelerator, which has just started shipping, is designed to simplify and improve the adoption of business processes by using the role-based, personalized user interface of WebSphere Portal to improve both implementation and user response time for a range of processes. For information about a university's use of this software, visit http://www.ibm.com/press/us/en/pressrelease/22719.wss.

With diverse data sources and inefficient, time consuming processes needed to turn data into useful information, more companies are turning to web-based forms. In response, IBM announced today a new lightweight entry-level product code-named "TotalForms" which the company plans to ship in beta in June.

"TotalForms" is an easy-to-use version of IBM's Lotus Forms software that will enable nontechnical people to quickly create, publish and route electronic forms submitted via the web. It can be used for a variety of tasks including customer satisfaction surveys, job applications and product orders. Based on an open and scalable nonproprietary software platform and Web 2.0 technology, "TotalForms" will integrate with IBM WebSphere Portal to provide one familiar interface for customers.

Lastly, IBM announced today that the company's current forms product, IBM Lotus Forms 3.0.1, now includes out-of-the-box integration with IBM Filenet F8 software. It already provided tight integration with IBM WebSphere Process Server and IBM WebSphere Integration Developer software.

Hundreds of large and small organizations worldwide have been long-time users of IBM forms software, which provides a front end to SOA that easily and quickly automates business processes.

For more information visit www.ibm.com/software/lotus.

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1 Source: *IDC, Worldwide Enterprise Portal Software 2007 to 2011 Forecast Update and 2006 Vendor Shares: Solid Growth Ahead Fueled by Mashing Up the Portal With New Web 2.0 Collaboration and Development Technologies. #207534, July 2007.

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