Today Lotus continued to embrace the blogger community with a briefing to tell us about tomorrow’s official announcements surrounding LotusLive. Sean Poulley, Brendan Crotty and Ed Brill hosted the webinar, demos and Q&A session. Here’s the scoop:
Tomorrow, IBM Lotus will be announcing three new capabilities for LotusLive.
- Integration with Business Services
- Essential Bundle for small and medium-size business
- New markets for Lotus Live
The Integration with business services is pretty cool. They’ve lined up four initial partners: Salesforce.com, Skype, Silanis (eSignatures) and UPS.
The Salesforce.com integration will allow you to have a LotusLive tab within your Salesforce dashboard that can connect you to LotusLive Files, Meetings and more. The integration is really nice and fairly seamless. You can tie files and meetings to particular clients and do all the stuff you normally do with data in Salesforce. You need Enterprise licenses at Salesforce.com in order for LotusLive integration to work.
Skype integration is what you would expect, allowing you to click drop downs to make Skype calls directly from many areas within LotusLive. Silanis is a very robust eSignature platform, and UPS will allow you to track packages and print out mailing labels and such. Enabling this functionality is as easy as clicking a checkbox in the LotusLive administration area. They mention that this is only the beginning too.
Next, the new Essential Bundle for small and medium size business includes Web Mail, storing and sharing files, management of projects, IM, and social networking. It’s a fairly robust bundle and will come in at $7 per user/per month. You can find more info at www.LotusLive.com/bundle. Minimum purchase is 1 license only. Also, by next quarter they hope to make it as easy to sign up as going to the site and punching in your credit card information, something we dinged them for not already having. In addition, one other thing that existing users will enjoy is that storage of Files will go from 1GB to 5GB and iNotes storage ups to 25GB.
The last thing they mentioned is that they are opening new markets for LotusLive with 15 new languages. General Availability will include Danish, Dutch, Finnish, Norwegian and Swedish with more to come.
Now the blogger cloud, being who we are beat up Lotus a little bit about LotusLive lacking a couple things. First, partners want to write and sell applications that can work on the LotusLive platform. This includes the need for a real LotusLive app store of sorts. Well, they’ve stated that an SDK will become available in the second half of year and that an app store is indeed in the works. So pretty good news all around.
It’s nice to see Lotus continuing to embrace the bloggers and our community. It’s not earth-shattering, but it’s very much appreciated by us who live our Lotus lives every day.