About a year ago, I wrote a short post about IBM’s prototype Bluehouse product (see IBM targets SME collaboration with SaaS Bluehouse). Today at Public Service Events’ Construction Project Management ’09 conference at the Bridgewater Hall in Manchester, I had chance to get a quick update on latest iteration of that product from the team at IBM (a conference sponsor); I also shared a conference session with IBM’s Brendan Tutt, the very affable business unit leader for IBM’s portal and social networking products.
Codenamed Bluehouse while in development, it was relaunched as LotusLive Engage last month (see eWeek story, for example) and is a Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) solution which allows users of Lotus Connections to share information with collaborators outside their organisation firewall. It includes a variety of Web 2.0 tools, including user profiles, blogs, Del.icio.us-style bookmarking (‘Dogear’ – thinking drugs jargon, I initially saw this is Do-gear, but it is apparently Dog-ear, as in well-thumbed corner pages!), shared activities, communities and file-sharing plus WebEx-type online meeting and portal tools. I was told the product also has a variety of widgets that allow users to introduce other social media tools such as Flickr and Twitter to the mix (plus tools like LinkedIn, Salesforce.com and Skype).
It is not a product aimed squarely at the architecture, engineering and construction (AEC) sector, but where businesses are already employing other elements of the Lotus suite, this may appeal. Its web-meeting capabilities also offer an alternative to the toolset from Kalexo (yesterday’s post).