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Overview of the LotusLive Collaboration Solution

Blog post by on February 4, 2011 No Comments

LotusLive Labs

Image by Greyhawk68 via Flickr

In my last session at Lotusphere (yes, I was paid by IBM to attend the conference but that does not change my comments) I took the opportunity to learn more about the LotusLive solution set. The LotusLive solution is made up of three major components of which you can purchase any/all of the components and within which there are many options as well. I won’t attempt to fully explain the options will try to give you a good high-level of the solutions.

  • Messaging, email, through the LotusLive Notes service. While there are many options with this the highlights are:
    • A 25 GB mailbox with anti-spam and anti-virus.
    • Instant messaging.
    • Options to support mobile, single sign-on, retention archiving, and more. Mobile includes Android, iPhone, iPad, RIM, PlayBook, and others.
  • Collaboration, through the LotusLive Engage service.
    • 5 GB of file storage
    • Social networking capabilities
    • Project management
    • Live Meetings.
  • Office capabilities through Lotus Symphony and Live Symphony.

What does it cost?

There are a number of options, of course, and this is not a complete list but will give you a good starting point:

  • LotusLive Notes is currently priced at $5/user/month.
  • LotusLive Connections is currently priced at $6/user/month.
  • LotusLive Engage is currently priced at $8/user/month
  • LotusLive Symphony is part of LotusLive Connect and LotusLive Engage so there is no additional cost when you purchase one of those products.

The file storage component of LotusLive is centralized so that all components of the solution can share these files. This is similar to Microsoft’s approach to Office and SharePoint.

How does the cloud fit into this?

IBM has done a nice job of supporting a hybrid cloud solution where organizations can have some components can run in the cloud and other components running on premise. While I am sure there are a few limitations, the decision about what runs where is primarily up to the customer. US Federal agencies should note that the cloud solutions are not Federal Information Security Management Act (FISMA) compliant and plans in this area remain unclear.

Mid-sized companies should also check out this post from Bill Ives noting the results of a recent study done by The Armada Group. The key points that caught my eye include:

  • 67% are using or have plans to use cloud-based storage.
  • 79% do not have an IT roadmap for cloud computing.
  • 63% believe cloud offers cost saving while only 8% believe cloud offers no advantages.
  • 29% believe cloud offers increase flexibility.

If you’re not yet considering how the cloud might fit with your business you are behind schedule.

Partner integrations

While IBM does not have a marketplace approach like many others, which is a disappointment in my opinion, they have established some key partnerships and integrations. These integrations include:

  • Sugar CRM
  • Ariba
  • expresso
  • Tungle.me
  • Skype
  • Silanis
  • UPS
  • BRICSYS

Summary

The LotusLive Collaboration Solution is a solid work in progress. It is absolutely worth evaluating if you are an existing Lotus/IBM customer looking to move to the cloud and add collaboration capabilities at a reasonable cost. US Federal agencies will need to avoid the cloud component and government-level agencies in most countries are likely to have security concerns. 2011 will be a year where IBM really builds out its social business solutions, I look forward to seeing what LotusLive looks like at this time next year.

Republished with author's permission from original post.

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