IBM pushing Blackberry alliance x 2

Two major press releases from IBM this week that tie in with RIM’s major Blackberry worldwide conference (Wireless Enterprise Symposium 2008).

1) IBM and RIM Mobilize Web 2.0 Capabilities – New Mobile Web Solution Brings Social Networking, Enterprise Collaboration and Information on Demand to BlackBerry Smartphones

“As the world enters the ‘Era of the Mobile Web,’ mobile devices like BlackBerry are outnumbering TVs, credit cards and PCs, and are becoming increasingly critical to business operations for companies of all sizes globally,” said Bob Picciano, GM Lotus Software. “Today’s announcement extends the portfolio of IBM’s industry-leading social computing and collaboration offerings available to customers as they increasingly rely on their BlackBerry smartphones.”

“The organizational and personal benefits of the Lotus collaboration suite together with the mobility and security advantages of the widely-adopted BlackBerry platform provide an unmatched solution for enterprise customers,” said Jim Balsillie, Co-CEO at Research In Motion.

IBM and RIM are making the following technologies portable and accessible, anytime and anywhere:

   * Portals & Dashboards: IBM WebSphere Portal and IBM dashboard software lets businesses build Web sites and single screen dashboard views that deliver information, applications and processes personalized to the individual BlackBerry smartphone user.
   * Social Networking: The BlackBerry Client for IBM Lotus Connections helps people tap into the collective knowledge of others and find the people and information they need for the task at hand while on the go.
   * Messaging and Calendaring: BlackBerry Enterprise Server for IBM Lotus Notes and Domino enables access to key email and calendaring functions as well as custom applications built with Lotus Domino.
   * Unified Communications: The BlackBerry Client for IBM Lotus Sametime lets people access their full buddy list, send and receive instant messages, view presence information and convert an IM session to a phone call with a simple click.
   * Business Intelligence: IBM Cognos 8 Go! Mobile business intelligence software is the industry’s first business intelligence solution designed specifically for the BlackBerry platform. It provides personalized secure business information in the right context to allow people to view and interact with dashboard-style reports to make informed decisions while they are on the move.

2) IBM Expands Managed Wireless Services for BlackBerry

IBM (NYSE: IBM) and Research In Motion (RIM) (NASDAQ: RIMM) (TSX: RIM) today announced IBM’s new hosting capabilities to support the BlackBerry(R) platform. IBM has joined the BlackBerry(R) System Integrator (SI) Alliance Program.

IBM will expand its portfolio of Managed Wireless Services for the BlackBerry platform leveraging its successful services offering that currently hosts more than 100,000 enterprise end users globally. The offering builds upon the strength of the BlackBerry Enterprise Server product line with a far-reaching suite of services that include hosting, consulting, systems integration, and deployment of enterprise applications on the converged platform.

“We find that our enterprise clients increasingly need to extend wireless data capabilities beyond e-mail, and to leverage their enterprise investment on wireless device platforms,” said Gary Cohen, IBM’s General Manager, Global Communications Sector. “IBM’s services will facilitate the deployment and ongoing management of enterprise applications on the BlackBerry platform. We are uniquely positioned to enable our enterprise customers to do so on a large scale. As the world’s leading IT services provider we are very pleased to be offering these services and to be working with RIM, an outstanding innovative leader in the wireless data marketplace.”

Whilst much of the “news” here is not new, it is good to see IBM cementing its commitment to the Blackberry platform and to mobile devices in general.

The Traveler technology included in ND8.0.1 was interesting, and sparked off many debates regarding the relative merits and importance attached to Blackberry, WinMobile, Symbian and iPhone.  Personally, I would think that Blackberry/RIM is still the most important device out there in terms of business mobile use, so agree with IBM’s commitment there.  However, I do wish we were seeing as much visible focus and investment on the iPhone as I have no doubt that this will be the predominant mobile application platform of 2-5 years time.
       

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!