BlackBerry gets IBM Lotus Connections

The mobile social-networking tool is intended to help employees connect and build relationships with their global colleagues

Business users will now be able to engage in mobile social networking with IBM's new Lotus Connections client for the BlackBerry.

Lotus Connections is IBM's business social-networking tool, aimed at helping employees to connect and build relationships with their global colleagues. The software features Web 2.0-based components, including communities, profiles, blogs and "Dogear" — a function which allows users to access others' research bookmarks.

Users of the BlackBerry Lotus Connections — previewed this week at IBM's annual Lotusphere conference — will be able to: find people and locate individuals' expertise through profiles; share information; monitor workflows; and use Dogear.

According to IBM's director of collaboration strategies, Douglas Heintzman, business users are now able to look up people not in their own phone book in a matter of seconds.

The software allows quick sharing of information via contacts. "It's much better than doing a Google search on a BlackBerry, which is not a very rewarding experience," Heintzman said.

Users can also remotely sign off on projects which they have completed, Heintzman said, so that other dependent tasks are not delayed. "It takes latency out of the system," he added.

Connections in its original form is the "the fastest growing product in IBM software history", according to Heintzman, and has been adopted by firms such as Deutsche Bank and the Film Foundation.

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