IBM to enter "cloud computing" software market... Um, I thought that was what LotusLive was supposed to be? (edited with more info)
Reuters is running a story titled IBM to enter "cloud computing" software market.
IBM will sell a suite of Web-based collaboration software for businesses, including contact management, instant messaging and file sharing programs, the computing giant's biggest effort to date to sell software as a service.
The move to be announced on Wednesday pits International Business Machines Corp against companies that are already established in the fledgling market for software as a service including: Microsoft, Google and privately held Zoho.
IBM will charge companies $10 to $45 per user per month for its software suite, which it will host at its own data centers and deliver via the Web, a company executive said in an interview on Tuesday. The suit will be available April 7.
Help me out here... Was not LotusLive supposed to be the online collaboration offering to compete with Microsoft Live? Is this the official rollout of LotusLive complete with pricing now?
If this is the real launch of LotusLive, I'll be interested to see how this is positioned and marketed. I'll also be interested to see what sort of "migration" might be needed if someone wants to move from Domino in-house to LotusLive in the cloud.
And if this is *not* LotusLive, then I'm *really* confused...
Edited a couple minutes later...
More details here at cnet.com... LotusLive Engage: IBM's cloud gets social
So it is that IBM on Wednesday will announce a service called LotusLive Engage, what it bills as an integrated social networking and collaboration cloud service. You can go up on the Web site today and take a tour, but this is a teaser test run. Although the official announcement will take place at the O'Reilly Web 2.0 Conference, which opens in San Francisco, LotusLive Engage becomes commercially available on April 7.
Brendan Crotty, program manager of LotusLive said the project, initially geared at the small to mid-size business market, benefited from often frank feedback by beta testers who told IBM what they liked and disliked about the interface. In the hour-long demo I had Tuesday afternoon, it appeared that IBM's designers had taken those comments to heart. The console layout was lapidary and intuitive. Enterprise users who previously worked with products like Notes or Microsoft Exchange shouldn't have any trouble figuring out what does what.
LotusLive Engage's communications and collaboration tools work both within and beyond the corporate firewall so that employees can interact with clients, partners, or suppliers. IBM's phrase to describe what's going on is "extranet collaboration." The short list of the features include profile and contact management, online meetings, file sharing, instant messaging, and project management capabilities.
Any information warehoused on LotusLive services will live in a cloud managed by IBM. Pricing will range from $10 to $45 per user.
OK, so it's the LotusLive "official" announcement. Nice to see they've apparently listened to beta testers. Nice touch to also announce at an O'Reilly conference instead of just at a news event.
Just a minor observation, however... Announcing *anything* significant on April 1st is not exactly the way to get taken seriously...