ORLANDO—IBM Corp. doesn’t expect that its collaboration software offerings will outright replace popular user-driven social networking tools like instant messaging and Twitter, said one executive at the Lotusphere 2010 conference.
IBM’s social software suite – that includes Lotus Connections, Lotus Quickr and Lotus Sametime – provides users with tools like blogs, profiles, communities and instant messaging, but that doesn’t necessarily mean that popular social networking software that made their way virally into the enterprise will be completely replaced, said Peter Van De Graaf, IBM’s program director for social software, in an interview with ComputerWorld Canada.
“If you’re using the micro-blogging (in Lotus), might that reduce some of your usage of instant messaging? Maybe,” said Van De Graaf.
But it really depends on the particular enterprise and the industry it toils in, said Van De Graaf, who still sees many companies using a combination of Lotus social software as well as other tools made popular by the masses.
Instead, Lotus Connections attempts to address IT department headaches like employees using e-mail as a document management tool, such that in theory, e-mail traffic should decrease if these social tools are properly used, said Van De Graaf.
Part of Project Vulcan, IBM’s vision for how collaboration will evolve, is to simplify access to social software through an intuitive user interface and by allowing IT departments to integrate them more closely to the existing infrastructure and business processes, said Van De Graaf.
That will ease adoption not only for end users, but for the IT department who has the ability to tie in collaboration tools with existing standard apps like a customer relationship management software, said Van De Graaf.
Although IBM has embraced open standards like OpenSocial and OpenID and offers Twitter and LinkedIn integration with the Lotus platform, Van De Graaf said there isn’t enough customer demand right now for integrating other popular social networking software.