IBM launches LotusLive Symphony technical preview: Is there room for another cloud office suite?

Summary:IBM will launch a cloud-based version of LotusLive Symphony in the second half of 2011. The big question for me is whether LotusLive Symphony can break into this little office suite relay I have going on.

IBM said Monday it will launch a cloud-based version of LotusLive Symphony in the second half of 2011.

The news caught my eye since I've been using Lotus Symphony as my offline office suite. There's a bit of a Google Docs, Symphony relay going on with a dash of Microsoft Word Starter on my laptop.

The big question for me is whether LotusLive Symphony can break into this little office suite relay I have going on. Symphony often pings me to tell me about LotusLive connectors, but I usually ignore them.

According to Big Blue, LotusLive Symphony will be tightly integrated to its social business cloud service. The idea is that authors can co-edit documents inside and outside the firewall, remain private, chat and manage revisions. IBM outlined a framework to turn the inbox into an activity stream that will incorporate content from Twitter, LinkedIn, Facebook, SAP and internal content.

Social enterprise tools have been heating up. Salesforce.com launched Chatter. com and Tibco launched an effort called Tibbr.

The cloud version of LotusLive Symphony is available in a technology preview.

In the end, the cloud version of Symphony may appeal to enterprises that are using Lotus-based products. The real challenge is going to be winning over folks like me who use Google Docs for collaboration and Symphony for offline.

Related:

Topics: Collaboration, IBM, Microsoft, Networking, Software

About

Larry Dignan is Editor in Chief of ZDNet and SmartPlanet as well as Editorial Director of ZDNet's sister site TechRepublic. He was most recently Executive Editor of News and Blogs at ZDNet. Prior to that he was executive news editor at eWeek and news editor at Baseline. He also served as the East Coast news editor and finance editor at CN... Full Bio

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