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In Focus: Collaboration goes online, gets simple

Content provided by IBM-ForwardView eMagazine .

 While it's easy for experts to extol the virtues of real-time collaboration, those on the front lines of midsized businesses are more likely to wonder about the complexity of setting up shared environments like virtual conferences and team rooms.

Enter LotusLive™, a new IBM product family of Web-based tools designed to tackle online collaboration, meetings and e-mail communications simply and efficiently. Made to work both inside and outside the firewall without setup costs or extensive training, LotusLive helps boost

overall company productivity by providing integrated collaboration capabilities. And because these simplified online tools require minimal administration effort, IT departments can stay focused on other technical projects that generate sales and drive business growth. 

What you get

LotusLive is an umbrella of collaboration tools and solutions available as online services. These offerings allow companies to share documents, meet, chat and plan across geographies with customers, vendors, partners and other employees—without requiring time-consuming installation and in-house IT oversight. LotusLive services cover three areas critical to getting the most out of connecting and interacting with people:

Networking and collaboration offerings—LotusLive Engage and LotusLive Connections solutions both allow rapid information sharing and collaboration across company boundaries. These offerings provide a complete set of Web collaboration tools, such as meeting rooms, instant messaging and social networking capabilities. Companies looking to add file sharing and Web conferencing capabilities may opt for the LotusLive Engage option, which has integration options with Microsoft® Outlook® and IBM Lotus Notes.

Web conferencing offerings—LotusLive Meetings and LotusLive Events solutions bring the power of online meetings to any organization. LotusLive Meetings provides fully integrated Web, voice and video conferencing capabilities, along with integration with prospecting tools such as Salesforce.com. LotusLive Events also includes registration, promotion and post-event follow-up tools. Both solutions are ideal for companies looking for ways to bring up to hundreds of people together—regardless of where they may be—for events such as training seminars and conferences, as well as company-wide meetings.

Messaging and e-mail offerings—LotusLive Notes and LotusLive iNotes solutions both deliver all the time-tested capabilities of Lotus Notes. Companies can choose between thin client and rich client versions, depending on their needs. LotusLive iNotes also adds collaboration capabilities such as Web-based messaging, file sharing and calendaring.

All LotusLive offerings are designed for integration with other IBM products, such as Lotus Notes, Lotus Quickr and Lotus Connections—as well as with LinkedIn social networking contacts and Skype mobility clients.

Reality check

Collaboration capabilities can be acquired almost immediately, thanks to intuitive interfaces that allow non-technical users to set up and use these services. Once installed, midsized companies can quickly connect and collaborate with partners, suppliers and customers—as well as with employees, regardless of where they may be located. What's more, the networking and Web conferencing offerings are designed to help increase action and productivity. For example, after-the-fact scheduling and management tools turn agenda items into actionable plans.

LotusLive networking and Web conferencing solutions use a software-as-a-service (SaaS) model to help midsized businesses reap the benefits of more connectivity—without worrying about setup, management, security and costs that characterize many other collaboration tools on the market.

Designed for the bottom line

A free trial offer allows midsized organizations to test these competitively priced solutions with no obligation to purchase subscriptions and licenses. And because collaboration requirements can change, LotusLive services can be easily scaled up or down, thanks to per-user subscriptions and licenses.

The breadth of LotusLive offerings is meant to provide the right collaboration services for particular situations. Networking and collaboration services from LotusLive Engage and LotusLive Connections are competitively priced and start at $46 per user per month. Companies in need of essential Web conferencing capabilities can get started for under $40 per user per month with LotusLive Meetings, while more robust conferencing and event management is available with LotusLive Events starting at $99 per month. Find more pricing details and register for a free trial.

Content copyrighted by IBM Corporation.

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