IBM has jumped onto the social networking band wagon by launching a business-focused social networking platform.
Big Blue unveiled the Lotus Connections platform at its PartnerWorld conference in St Louis today.
The platform is designed to help partners create greater collaboration, according to Ravi Marwaha, general manager IBM Global Business Partners.
Jeff Schick, vice president social computing software at IBM, said: “Lotus Connections is the first social platform for business. All partners will be able to connect, have profiles and collaborate across the platform. There will be blogs, real time communications and file sharing too. We’re connecting people to people and people to information.”
The platform was announnced as part of IBMs push to drive partner ecosystems. The vendor also launched ehnancements to its Value Net programme - Value Net Connections - including tools and resources that allow partners to identify complimentary partners with which they can then offer joint solutions.
“The big opportunity for IBM and its partners is the mid-market. To target this effectively partners need to be able to locate complimentary partners. Previously we launched Value Net - a partner ecosystem - and now we are scaling this up, and adding to it.
“The Value Net Connections allows online collaborations and networking. It is an end to end approach to developing collaboration, matching making and training.”
Ravi said the move is primarily to create more efficient ecosystems between partners and IBM. “Clearly there are opportunities around this. Value Net is a good way to take this opportunity to meet customer needs.”
Chris Wong, vice president of marketing and strategy at IBM, said: “Social networking is a journey, and this is another step for IBM on that journey, building the infrastructure behind Value Net."
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