IBM follows Box, with more cloud collaboration apps

Summary:Much like Box and in the last few weeks, IBM is stepping up its own productivity offerings with a pair of new cloud-based, word processing apps made in-house.

Despite assumptions perhaps based on all the media buzz, not everyone has signed up for the cloud just yet.

IBM wants to give hesitant businesses another nudge with its latest updates for its SmartCloud platform for enterprise-level public, private, and hybrid cloud models.

Beyond the typically advertised benefits for cloud adoption (i.e. lower costs, more efficient, etc.), IBM's latest approach rests on touting collaboration and community.

Specifically, IBM's latest Social Business strategy features tout being able to crowd-source ideas and work on projects with the intention of delivering products to market faster.

Furthermore, much like Box and in the last few weeks , IBM is stepping up its own productivity offerings with a pair of new cloud-based, collaboration-friendly word processing apps made in-house.

IBM is also throwing in a new online meeting up that could challenge the likes of Cisco, Polycom, and other unified comms providers.

Here's a rundown on the latest SmartCloud updates:

  • SmartCloud Docs: Aimed at human resource managers, this app is set up for creating,s haring and collaborating on word documents, spreadsheets, and presentations in real-time. Also supports annotation, comments from team members simultaneously. Supported across mobile devices, and IBM called out the iPad in particular.
  • SmartCloud Notes: Aimed at sales executives; Hosts social tools (i.e. email, communities, messaging, calendars, etc.) across a single interface to facilitate managing schedules and toggling between these features.
  • Sametime 9: A social media environment for enterprise customers that includes HD video conferencing, instant messaging, and online meetings in real-time. Can be deployed from the cloud, on-premise, or as a hybrid version of the two.
  • Now IBM-owned SoftLayer's Infrastructure-as-a-Service with on-demand server hosting is getting support for SmartCloud's Smart Business features. IBM is also advertising a hybrid option that bridges cloud and on-premise solutions with a single admin dashboard. Big Blue also touts this can be set up within hours (versus weeks or months) because there is no hardware required.

Topics: Mobility, Cloud, Enterprise Software, IBM, Social Enterprise


Rachel King is a staff writer for CBS Interactive based in San Francisco, covering business and enterprise technology for ZDNet, CNET and SmartPlanet. She has previously worked for The Business Insider,, CNN's San Francisco bureau and the U.S. Department of State. Rachel has also written for, Irish Americ... Full Bio

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