ARMONK, N.Y., Jan. 27, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- IBM (NYSE: IBM) today announced new partnerships and increased adoption of LotusLive public cloud services to help clients innovate faster, improve daily business interactions and increase business efficiencies. LotusLive provides organizations with integrated email, Web conferencing, and social networking and collaboration services through the IBM cloud.
As part of today's news, IBM announced partnerships with Ariba and SugarCRM that will help clients take advantage of social commerce and customer relationship management (CRM) in the cloud.
IBM is also announcing the widespread adoption of LotusLive with the following new clients benefiting from IBM's Cloud initiatives including the Australian Bureau of Statistics, C&D Foods, Crawford & Company, FIDM/Fashion Institute of Design & Merchandising, General Milling Corporation, General Motors Components Holdings and the Zoo and Aquarium Association of Australia.
Adoption of cloud computing is on the rise. Recent IDC research shows that worldwide spending on cloud services will grow almost threefold, reaching $44.2 billion by 2013.(1) With this increased interest and adoption, businesses across the world are embracing IBM's public cloud services for easy-to-use collaboration tools to connect with colleagues, partners and suppliers quickly.
Additionally, according to a recent IBM survey of more than 2,000 midsize companies, there's growing adoption of cloud computing among midsize firms, with two-thirds either planning or currently deploying cloud-based technologies to improve IT systems management while lowering costs.
Today's news reinforces IBM's Cloud leadership in helping clients to create better business outcomes leveraging public, private and hybrid cloud approaches.
Transforming Collaboration and Business Processes in the Cloud
By adding business partner integrations, LotusLive delivers more cloud-based options to simplify and improve everyday business activities. IBM LotusLive offers integrated applications from business partners that are designed to help companies of all sizes, in every industry, work more efficiently and effectively.
Today, IBM is announcing two new partnerships with SugarCRM and Ariba, delivering integrated applications that deliver Cloud collaboration within CRM and commerce applications.
SugarCRM, a leading provider of open source CRM software, is integrating LotusLive into its customer relationship management application. The combined offering will help sales more effectively collaborate with prospects and customers during lead generation, lead-to-cash and issue resolution processes. For example, a sales agent can now instantly launch a LotusLive online meeting with key prospects right from the Sugar application, and quickly and easily share important files and information with a few simple clicks.
This capability provides a more streamlined experience for the prospect, creates greater visibility into account activity, and increases CRM user productivity, which can shorten sales cycles and increase revenue for sales organizations. The new service is expected to be available during the first half of 2011.
With today's news, Ariba is integrating LotusLive into its Ariba Discovery service. Ariba Discovery is a free, easy-to-use service that provides access to more than 325,000 sellers in more than 400 business categories. Ariba Discovery for LotusLive lets buyers and sellers more easily collaborate through online meetings, and through web conferences, online chats, and sharing documents, resulting in improved communications and faster decision making. The service is expected to be available during the first half of 2011.
Accelerating Cloud Collaboration in Organizations Around the Globe
Organizations including C&D Foods, Crawford & Company, the Fashion Institute of Design and Merchandising, General Motors Components Holdings LLC and General Milling Corporation have adopted IBM's cloud based email offerings.
General Motors Components Holdings LLC (GMCH) purchased LotusLive to provide employees with cloud based email, calendar and contact management services. A wholly owned subsidiary of General Motors, GMCH was looking to improve collaboration among its employees in plants in New York, Michigan and Indiana that manufacture HVAC climate control systems, powertrain cooling systems, engine management systems, automotive electronics and related products. Formerly part of the Delphi Corporation, GMCH needed to move all employees to GM compatible systems after the acquisition from Delphi.
GMCH wanted a cloud solution that would meet GM's requirements for performance and reliability without the capital expenditure necessary to run email in-house. They chose LotusLive Notes for the flexibility of the service and because of IBM's enterprise experience. GMCH has also purchased LotusLive Connections to facilitate social networking and collaboration between employees in the Cloud.
C&D Foods, based in Longford, Ireland, is one of Europe's leading high quality pet food manufacturers producing more than 150,000 tons of pet food annually. C&D Foods needed a quick and cost-effective way to move employees at their canning facility in the Netherlands off Microsoft Exchange.
"We decided to move employees to the cloud with LotusLive iNotes. With its simple administration tools and user-friendly interface, LotusLive helped take pressure off our migration team. We were able to move users quickly and easily without any interruption to our network or IT infrastructure. With LotusLive, users can now access their e-mail, anytime, any place," said Rosalyn Donnelly, IT Manager, C&D Foods.
Crawford & Company, based in Atlanta, Georgia, is the world's largest independent provider of claims management solutions to the risk management and insurance industry, as well as self-insured entities.
"With a global network of more than 700 locations in 63 countries, we needed a cost effective, reliable email service," said Beverly Trice, Catastrophe Services, Crawford & Company. "We chose LotusLive iNotes so field adjusters could have access to their email whenever, wherever. More over, it's important that the email have a consistent email domain in a secure environment so the adjusters feel confident to share information with clients and communicate internally with colleagues."
The Fashion Institute of Design & Merchandising (FIDM), a private college in California specializing in the fashion design, interior design and entertainment industries, adopted LotusLive iNotes to provide 7,500 students with low-cost, reliable Webmail that they can access anywhere on or off campus.
FIDM's goal was to offer its students with email accounts that provide a consistent domain so the administration and faculty could communicate with the student body more effectively. In FIDM's eLearning program, where most of the interaction between students and teachers happens electronically, LotusLive provides a consistent and reliable user experience for the entire class which facilitates more effective communication.
FIDM also wanted to ensure that its students had a professional email account to use when applying for internships or jobs. Prior to moving to LotusLive iNotes, students used their free, personal email accounts and the administration did not always have the correct email address for every student on campus. LotusLive helps the students and faculty stay in touch with each other more efficiently.
General Milling Corporation (GMC) is one of the largest integrated food companies in the Philippines with offices and plants located throughout the country. In business for 50 years, the company was looking for a reliable and cost-effective collaboration platform as a foundation for growth as they aim to become one of the top food producers in Philippines.
The company adopted LotusLive's complete collaboration suite to provide its employees with cloud-based e-mail and advanced collaboration tools. Moving e-mail to the cloud with LotusLive Notes allows the company to expand IT resources while still having access to business-class messaging and the latest technologies from IBM. GMC also purchased LotusLive Engage for web conferencing and other collaboration capabilities such as file sharing, instant messaging and activity management, to promote greater collaboration among its widely dispersed workforce and its partners and vendors.
Organizations including the Australian Bureau of Statistics and the Zoo and Aquarium Association of Australia have adopted LotusLive Engage to drive increased collaboration across geographically distributed teams.
For example, the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) adopted LotusLive across its 3,200 person organization for increased project collaboration with other international statistical agencies. The ABS are members of several international networks developing standards and applications for statistical processing. By adopting LotusLive Engage, the international project teams have been able to quickly share skills and intellectual property and assets, design and co-develop statistical standards and applications -- all within a secure, cost-effective environment that LotusLive provides.
The Zoo and Aquarium Association of Australia integrates more than 90 zoos and aquariums across Australia, New Zealand and the South Pacific in a network for wildlife conservation, environmental education and wildlife research. Its main activity is the Australasian Species Management Program (ASMP) which has a mission "to plan and manage animal collections cooperatively, in ways that promote sustainability and contribute to species conservation."
The Association has adopted LotusLive Engage as its collaboration platform to support more than a 100 species programs that involve teams implementing best practice policy across the region. The Association has found the platform to be secure and easy to use and a good way of disseminating current information and collecting feedback.
For more information about LotusLive, please visit www.lotuslive.com
For more information about IBM's Cloud computing initiatives, please http://www.ibm.com/ibm/cloud/
(1): Main IDC Cloud Research Landing Page: http://www.idc.com/prodserv/idc_cloud.jsp