Really good news from Marc finally forced me out of my blogging slumber. IBM is going to offer a corporate social networking solution. IBM’s solution, called Lotus Connect, offers out of the box common social networking components for deployment within corporate environments.
The IBM package includes five applications: profiles, where employees post information about their expertise and interests; communities, which are formed and managed by people with common interests; activities, which are used to manage group projects; bookmarks, where people share documents and Web sites with others; and blogs, where people post ongoing commentaries.
This is great news because in effect IBM has validated the stance that social networking is indeed relevant in the corporate environment. The feature set mentioned above is a sub-set of what People Aggregator offers. And People Aggregator has been out in the market for several months now. But selling to corporates is hard, especially for startups. IBM’s announcement will have the effect of making big corporates take notice of social networking. The IBM marketing machinery will make sure that the corporate world gets adequately educated about the benefits of employing the “Web 2.0″ and social networking constructs to the workplace.
It is also heartening to know that we were ahead of the curve by some distance! It was almost two years back when the idea of developing People Aggregator as a reusable software download was conceived!
So hopefully next time Marc goes pitching to a big company, at least he wont have to answer the “Why would we want that?” question!