New partner solutions available on LotusLive – SugarCRM and Ariba

The Lotusphere (#ls11) news blitz has started 😉

First up, LotusLIve announces new partnerships:

By adding business partner integrations, LotusLive delivers more cloud-based options to simplify and improve everyday business activities. IBM LotusLive offers integrated applications from business partners that are designed to help companies of all sizes, in every industry, work more efficiently and effectively.    

Today, IBM is announcing two new partnerships with SugarCRM and Ariba, delivering integrated applications that deliver Cloud collaboration within CRM and commerce applications.  

SugarCRM, a leading provider of open source CRM software, is integrating LotusLive into its customer relationship management application. The combined offering will help sales more effectively collaborate with prospects and customers during lead generation, lead-to-cash and issue resolution processes.  For example, a sales agent can now instantly launch a LotusLive online meeting with key prospects right from the Sugar application, and quickly and easily share important files and information with a few simple clicks.    

This capability provides a more streamlined experience for the prospect, creates greater visibility into account activity, and increases CRM user productivity, which can shorten sales cycles and increase revenue for sales organizations. The new service is expected to be available during the first half of 2011.  

With today’s news, Ariba is integrating LotusLive into its Ariba Discovery service. Ariba Discovery is a free, easy-to-use service that provides access to more than 325,000 sellers in more than 400 business categories. Ariba Discovery for LotusLive lets buyers and sellers more easily collaborate through online meetings, and through web conferences, online chats, and sharing documents, resulting in improved communications and faster decision making. The service is expected to be available during the first half of 2011.

I see the addition of SugarCRM to the LotusLive portfolio as being a significant one – with many small businesses and startups, CRM is the first step towards a centralised collaboration and management solution, and so having a number of options in LotusLive to solve this business need is important.  If the CRM solution is cloud-based, then it makes sense to take the messaging and collaboration environment in that direction too.

Here’s a video demonstrating the SugarCRM/LotusLive integration:

The LotusLive page for SugarCRM tells us that the new solution works with LotusLive Engage and requires a subscription to SugarCRM.  This makes sense, but it would be great if you could just buy a LotusLive subscription with the SugarCRM component included as an option.

I look forward to finding out more at Lotusphere.

[Collaboration Matters is a LotusLive partner based in the UK – if you require more information or wish to purchase a LotusLive subscription, please contact us.]

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!