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IBM launches Lotus Connection

IBM has launched IBM Lotus Connection - a social networking software that can be used to create profiles, communities, blogs, manage tasks and add Dogear.

Dec 15, 2007, 12.25 AM IST
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MUMBAI: IBM has launched IBM Lotus Connection -- a social networking software that can be used to create profiles, communities, blogs, manage tasks and add Dogear (similar to social bookmarking: de.lici.ous). It can be used to manages files, emails and messages received or sent to other people also using Connections.

The notoriety of the generic networking sites have companies fearing not just the security threats attached to it, but also employee productivity going down. A research by US firm comScore puts the average time spent by an employee on Facebook per session at 186 minutes.

Inspite of its drawbacks, Gartner pegs the social networking market to be worth $350 million in 2008, growing at the rate of 30%. Christopher Lamb, marketing manager, Lotus Connections, was recently in town to talk about prospects.

“Lotus Connection was launched in June 2007 and has been our fastest-growing product. We already have 100 plus clients using it in the US and expect the figure to double by the end of year,” says Mr Lamb. Though Lotus Connections is yet to sign on its first Indian customer, there are a number of companies using Lotus Notes.

Asian Paints have agreed in principal to try Lotus Connections. MR Parashuram, chief manager IT, Asian Paints elaborates, “We are definitely interested in Connections. The options of blogs, wikis which it offers are useful tools in business context.” Asian Paints blocked sites like Facebook and Yahoo citing as “employees used it during working hours and that affected productivity,” says Mr Parashuram.

Developed in Westford US, a large part of Lotus Connections was tested in China. Right now it is available only in English, but Mr. Lamb says that by 2008 it will be rolled out in Chinese, Japanese, Spanish and French.

Lotus Connections is priced on per CPU basis for corporates at $110 and $45,000 per CPU for its external customers like business partners. Over 4 lakh employees are already using this service within IBM of which 15,000 are in India, this has helped IBM save $900,000 on telephony.
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