Salesforce.com, SAP and Skype are among vendors to confirm today that they will link their software with IBM’s new LotusLive cloud-based groupware service.
The hosted online version of the popular collaboration application set debuts today at the annual Lotusphere event.
IBM said the business partner programme it had lined up for LotusLive means it would be able to “deliver integrated collaborative solutions to an audience of more than 400 million people worldwide”.
A trial version of LotusLive, called Bluehouse, has been accessed by 15,000 users since it became available a year ago, according to IBM.
That free test version of the social networking site features instant messaging, web conferencing, document sharing, and online directory tools for people to build business networking communities.
The company also used the show to preview several examples of a feature it has called ‘Click to Cloud’ that will let IT shops bridge the cloud-based LotusLive system with chosen enterprise applications held behind the corporate firewall.
The agreements announced today mean businesses will be able share customer and opportunity management data held in the Salesforce.com with the collaboration programmes run as part of LotusLive, or call a Skype contact from within their Lotus contact book.
Similarly, it should also be possible to access SAP workflows, reporting and analytics without moving out of the online Notes environment.
Talking about the Skype deal, Sean Poulley, vice president of online collaboration, IBM Lotus, said: “We recognise that communications is an integral component of collaboration in an Internet-enabled world and that many small businesses have already adopted Skype.”
“This integration will simplify and improve the way businesses interact with their customers and partners.”