Organisations will be able to combine all the elements of social networking sites like MySpace with traditional business software for the first time, claimed IBM as it launched its new software suite Lotus Connections.
Lotus Connections will allow employees to share resources and ideas through blogs, online communities, instant chat and shared bookmarks in a professional business environment.
IBM said that the most valuable asset to any company is employee knowledge and the ability to uncover and share expertise within an organisation is of key importance.
The web 2.0 social software works with existing IBM Lotus business software and has many inter-application uses. A chat between co-workers, for example, can be dragged and dropped into a shared activity for all project participants to see.
“Our customers are telling us that their users are already using consumer social networking products outside of official corporate portals,” said Evan Herbst, managing director of Gemini Systems.
“Now, with Lotus Connections, we can offer a business-ready solution that adds new social software functionality to existing and new portals for intranets, extranets and internet sites.”
The Lotus Connections suite launched this week has been trialed since April and has brought 40 new communities to IBM PartnerWorld, a free online portal for global business collaboration.
Business networking has also gone online with the advent of sites like www.linkedin.com. It works in a way similar to online dating but with the purpose of establishing business links.
In place of showing up at corporate events and passing around your business card, Linkedin will introduce you to other business professionals.
By Marie Boran