Blackberry clients for Lotus Connections and Lotus Quickr announced

This is big news, RIM delivering on promises they made at Lotusphere 2009, and providing functionality that has been requested by many organisations and end users.  IBM’s announcement letter states:

The BlackBerry Client for IBM Lotus Connections and IBM Lotus Quickr extends the core capabilities of IBM’s enterprise collaboration and social software to end users on their BlackBerry devices

The BlackBerry Client for IBM Lotus Connections and BlackBerry Client for IBM Lotus Quickr allows people to collaborate in real time with their colleagues, maintain their productivity while away from their desk, and speed up decision making while “on the go”. Users are able to share work items, work on initiatives together, find expertise, contribute to their communities and leverage their collective knowledge base to drive better outcomes wherever they are.

BlackBerry Client for IBM Lotus Connections 2.3:

    * Allows mobile knowledge workers in enterprises to access the productivity and collaboration features (Profiles, Communities, Blogs, Bookmarks, and Activities) of Lotus Connections from their BlackBerry smartphones
    * Extends Web 2.0-style features with “traditional” BlackBerry strengths such as integration, security, and manageability
    * Integrates tightly with native BlackBerry core applications – e-mail, contacts, tasks, browser, media player, and camera
    * Has a rich client application that enables delivery of information and updates with increased immediacy compared to browser-based applications
    * Is supported in the back end by mechanisms that ensure data pushed to the user is optimized for mobile viewing

BlackBerry Client for IBM Lotus Quickr 1.0:

    * Helps users share content, collaborate, and work faster online with their teams – inside or outside of the corporate firewall, wirelessly while away from their desks
    * Allows BlackBerry smartphone users to download, edit and post documents, add folders and organize their documents
    * Supports several Quickr capabilities: navigating and viewing library content, designating libraries as “Favorites” for fast access, sorting and filtering folder content, reviewing file and folder details for modification history, previewing or downloading and checking out documents and checking in documents to replace older versions
    * Allows users to e-mail document authors with questions or send a link to a document or folder using their smartphone
    * Integrates tightly with native BlackBerry core applications: e-mail, browser, contacts, tasks, media player, menu, camera, and Docs To Go
    * Is supported in the back end by mechanisms that ensure data pushed to the user is optimized for mobile viewing

Planned availability date

January 12, 2010: Electronic software delivery
January 12, 2010: Media and documentation

I’m trying to track down more details of these solutions.  They’ve been in beta for a while – one of my customers has been running the Connections client and infrastructure for 6 months or so, but very little of the technical information has been made available publicly.  

One of the key points to note is a new infrastructure requirement – the ‘BlackBerry SNAP server’.  This is a BES-style server that runs on Windows only (‘fraid so) that sits within your environment and acts as an interface between your Blackberry devices and the Connections/Quickr services.

I’m sure there will be a lot of information made available at Lotusphere 2010 regarding these solutions, so I’ll bring as much of this to you via the blogs as I can.

Stuart McIntyre is a Senior Strategist at Fostering Community Limited. He curates a number of product-focused news sites, is a lapsed podcaster, founded the Social Connections user group and regularly speaks at conferences and events. This blog represents his own slightly-eccentric and usually-controversial opinions!