Research In Motion to add Lotus IM capabilities to BlackBerries
The new service is expected to be available later this year
Computerworld - IBM's Lotus Software Group and Research In Motion Ltd. have reached an agreement to make its Lotus Instant Messaging software available to users of BlackBerry mobile devices.
In an announcement yesterday, Waterloo, Ontario-based RIM, which makes BlackBerry handhelds, said the new service will be available later this year.
In a similar deal, RIM said yesterday that it has entered a separate agreement with Microsoft Corp. to bring enterprise IM capabilities to BlackBerry users using Microsoft products (see story).
In the Lotus deal, RIM and IBM are working to enable enterprise instant messaging on the BlackBerry platform to bring users some of Lotus IM's capabilities, including presence awareness and webconferencing, according to the handheld maker.
Ken Bisconti, vice president of Lotus Workplace, portal and collaboration products at IBM, said BlackBerry products today work with several consumer-level IM services, including AOL Instant Messenger, Yahoo Messenger and ICQ. The deal with Lotus, however, marks the first time that BlackBerries will support an enterprise-level IM service, he said.
"In many organizations, including our own, it's a technology that's a must-have," Bisconti said. "Extending Lotus IM to all devices is very important."
Mike Lazaridis, RIM's president and co-CEO, said in the statement that the new Lotus IM services "will be a very complementary addition to the existing suite of productivity applications available to BlackBerry users. Together, Lotus Instant Messaging and BlackBerry will offer greater opportunities for organizations to support their mobile workforce with enhanced communication and collaboration capabilities," he said.
Kevin Burden, an analyst at IDC in Framingham, Mass., said the move makes sense for both companies. IBM will get more users for its Lotus IM product, while RIM can pick up users of core collaboration tools from Lotus. "I think this is just kind of a natural progression," Burden said.
The deal with Microsoft also offers BlackBerry users more options, Burden said. "It's all about giving people the choice of how they want to communicate."
The Lotus IM client for BlackBerry will use Lotus IM messaging interfaces to connect BlackBerry users to their existing corporate IM community, according to the companies. Lotus IM will also provide a server-based audit trail of messages for BlackBerry users to help businesses with regulatory compliance matters.
Read more about Mobile/Wireless in Computerworld's Mobile/Wireless Topic Center.
- Path Selection Infographic Path Selection Infographic
- Hyperconvergence Infographic A wide range of observers agree that data centers are now entering an era of "hyperconvergence" that will raise network traffic levels faster...
- Preparing Your Infrastructure for the Hyperconvergence Era From cloud computing and virtualization to mobility and unified communications, an array of innovative technologies is transforming today's data centers.
- How WAN Optimization Helps Enterprises Reduce Costs If you wanted to break down innovation into a tidy equation, it might go something like this: Technology + Connectivity = Productivity. Productivity...
- LIVE EVENT: 5/7, The End of Data Protection As We Know It. Introducing a Next Generation Data Protection Architecture. Traditional backup is going away, but where does this leave end-users?
- On-demand webinar: "Mobility Mayhem: Balancing BYOD with Enterprise Security" Check out this on-demand webinar to hear Sophos senior security expert John Shier deep dive into how BYOD impacts your enterprise security strategy... All Smartphones White Papers | Webcasts
Our new weekly Consumerization of IT newsletter covers a wide range of trends including BYOD, smartphones, tablets, MDM, cloud, social and what it all means for IT. Subscribe now and stay up to date!