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IBM launches beta of 'Bluehouse,' eyes Cisco's WebEx

IBM will announce Monday that it is launching a beta of "Bluehouse," a social networking and collaboration service designed to link businesses with various partners.The move, part of a broader effort to define IBM's cloud computing strategy, will put it in direct competition with Cisco's collaboration efforts and its WebEx unit.
Written by Larry Dignan, Contributor on

IBM will announce Monday that it is launching a beta of "Bluehouse," a social networking and collaboration service designed to link businesses with various partners.

The move, part of a broader effort to define IBM's cloud computing strategy, will put it in direct competition with Cisco's collaboration efforts and its WebEx unit. Big Blue says Bluehouse is designed to combine social networking and collaboration tools to connect businesses securely. IBM's Bluehouse effort is a mirror image of Cisco and its SaaS plans for WebEx.

Dave Mitchell, director of strategy, cloud services, says IBM is trying to provide an "organizing construct" around its efforts.  IBM, which has numerous cloud computing efforts, has been looking to better define its strategy as it expands its infrastructure and data center lineups. Big Blue has now boiled down its cloud computing portfolio to the following:

  • Deliver its own cloud services to customers;
  • Enable independent software vendors build cloud services. IBM said it launched a "SaaS Enablement Network" that runs on Big Blue servers;
  • Help customers use the cloud;
  • And provide cloud computing infrastructure to businesses such as software as a service providers.

IBM also announced:

  • Lotus Sametime Unyte, which allows you to arrange quick Web  conferences via a browser. Unyte will ultimately tie in with Lotus Notes and Sametime.
  • Rational Policy Tester and AppScan OnDemand. These software products are available via subscription. Policy Tester automates Web content scanning and AppScan patrols applications for security flaws.
  • Telelogic Focal Point, which centralizes software investment information.

I couldn't help but hear IBM's pitch and think about how cloud computing has become an abused marketing pitch. Mitchell acknowledged the issue, but did say cloud computing "is clearly a term that people recognize and understand at a high level."

Also see: What's really ailing Big Blue shares? Hint: IBM is part bank

IBM expands cloud computing footprint

IBM: Salesforce.com’s new best friend?

Cisco unveils collaboration lineup; Enterprise 2.0 on the move?

Cisco buys PostPath: WebEx to compete with Exchange, Outlook, Office?

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