IBM enters the cloud with LotusLive; Notes pricing a mystery

IBM entered the cloud-computing market on Monday with LotusLive, a series of online collaboration services. However, some of the services are still under development, and pricing for the cloud version of Notes has not been released to the public.

After a year of public beta under the name BlueHouse, LotusLive was officially announced at the Lotusphere conference in Orlando. Users can sign up and start using two LotusLive services, Meetings and Events. Meetings integrates audio and videoconferencing and costs $48 to $99 per month, depending on the number of participants, or 25 cents per minute. Events is intended to help users manage and host an online conference. In addition to the actual conferencing, it also handles registration and other chores. Meetings costs $99 per month or 30 cents per minute per guest.

The site also lists LotusLive Notes as a service "available for sale," although IBM is selling it in a different way. Fill out a form, and a sales representative will contact you. As with the LAN version of Notes, the online service offers e-mail, calendar and scheduling, and is intended for large companies.

One more service, Engage, lets users "build online communities around the Web meeting experience." It is currently available only as a beta.

IBM promises that LotusLive won't stand alone. The new service will integrate with the LinkedIn, and Skype networks.

Copyright © 2009 IDG Communications, Inc.

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