IBM to Offer Collaboration on Smartphones, Tablets

IBM to Offer Collaboration on Smartphones, Tablets

IBM recently said it will offer collaborative software to introduce corporate social network to its clients on smartphones and tablets, in a bid to increase productivity as personal social habits step into corporations.

The Armonk, N.Y.-based company is rolling out new collaborative software that will offer an activity feed for smartphones and tablets providing relevant news and information about colleagues. The software will be available for a range of devices, including Apple’s iPhones and iPads, Google’s Android-operated devices, Research in Motion’s BlackBerry and some Nokia phones.

The vision is one where large companies become more collaborative, generating more ideas faster, with increased productivity and improved relationships between customers and clients. The market for social business platforms should triple to about $2 billion by 2014, according to research group IDC. IBM claims that 57 percent of companies that invest in social business outperform their peers.

Over the past couple of years, IBM has been working on technology for collaboration that goes beyond email and offer instant messaging, web meetings, blogs, wikis, Facebook-type communities and Twitter-like activity streams. The software was designed with a range of devices in mind, including the newer tablet computers.

“Tablets are a new design point,” said Alistair Rennie, IBM’s general manager of social business and collaboration initiatives. “You can’t just build corporate software starting at the desktop — you have to go to the devices and work back in.”

General Motors and insurer Zurich North America are among the companies using the corporate social networking products. Zurich has collaboration software on an iPad for 60,000 mobile workers. Research in Motion is expected to explain today at the annual Lotusphere conference in Orlando, Florida how the software will work on its PlayBook tablet.

IBM will also unveil a cloud-computing version of its Lotus Symphony software, which enables users to create and edit documents and presentations. Cloud computing helps customers save money by letting them store and access data via the Internet, rather than from their own servers.

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