IBM has announced a number of updates to its Connection social networking platform, introducing analytical capabilities and improved collaboration features through its SmartCloud platform.
Announced at its Connect and Lotusphere conferences currently being held in Florida, Big Blue said the updates will help companies deal with an increasingly social workforce and the mass of data being created from a variety of sources.
The new capabilities in Connections mean the platform now combines analytics, real-time data monitoring and improved collaborative networks through IBM SmartCloud, whether the user is inside or outside the organisation. Users can pull information from people, devices and sensors, which IBM says can provide a deeper understanding of customer and market trends.
The new software and services announced include:
- New analytics software that pulls information from wikis, blogs, activity streams, email, calendaring and more and flags the most relevant data for quick action.
- New software that combines social networking capabilities with enterprise content management.
- The new IBM SmartCloud for Social Business, which provides access to business-grade file sharing, social networking, communities, online meetings, instant messaging, email and calendar. It also offers cloud-based capabilities for users to co-edit documents in real-time.
- New messaging and collaboration software.
The IBM Connections dashboard is a centralised portal that pulls in information from email, calendar, news feeds and external sources such as Facebook and Twitter as well as more business-oriented systems such as SAP.
The new SmartCloud for Social Business platform includes LotusLive and provides access to social networking, file sharing, online meetings, enterprise-class email, calendaring and instant messaging, all through the cloud.
As part of this announcement IBM has introduced IBM Docs, its version of Google Docs. Users inside and outside the firewall will be able to collaborate in real-time on documents.
"IBM Docs authors will be able to store and share documents in IBM SmartCloud, co-edit documents in real time or assign users sections of the document so they can work privately easing the management of multiple revisions from multiple authors in team-based documents," the company added in a statement.
"There is boundless opportunity for social business to transform how we connect people and processes, and increase the speed and flexibility of business," said Alistair Rennie, GM of Social Business at IBM. "A successful social business can break down barriers to collaboration and put social networking in the context of everyday work, from the device or delivery vehicle of your choice, to improve productivity and speed decision-making."
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