On behalf of the entire Sametime team, I am pleased to announce that Sametime 8.5 will be available for download on December 22nd. Happy Holidays!
IBM Lotus Sametime 8.5
represents the next generation of unified communications and collaboration
software. As you can see, we've packed in quite a bit into this release:
- A new online meeting experience that is integrated into the IBM Lotus Sametime Connect
client. Join a meeting with a single click. Easily invite others by dragging
their names from the contact list. Accept meeting invitations with a single
click. Upload meeting materials via simple drag and drop.
- New zero-download, browser-based chat and meeting clients that extend
the desktop experience to wherever the user is working.
- A new standards-based audio and video infrastructure that enables more seamless interoperability
with third party audio and video conferencing systems.
- New audio and video codecs that provide higher quality native voice and
video services for a more compelling collaborative experience out-of-the-box.
- New Web 2.0 APIs that let developers embed Sametime capabilities into Web sites
and applications so users switch context less.
- A new, browser-based Apple iPhone chat client, support for the Blackberry
Storm, and an improved mobile client for Microsoft® Windows® Mobile devices.
- New social views that make it easier to find the people you collaborate
with the most.
- Deeper integration with Microsoft and Lotus products
- A new System Console that centralizes infrastructure configuration, deployment,
management, and policy management for all Sametime services.
We'll be exploring all of these capabilities in the new year... but Sametime 8.5 is really about simplicity. Simplicity promotes adoption and adoption creates return on investment.
Ask yourself these questions: How often do you loose the first ten minutes of a meeting providing instructions on how to log into the web conference? Have you invested in video conferencing systems that sit unused because no one knows they're there or how to use them? Do you want to deliver unified communications services into the applications your employees already use? Do you have a mix of communication and collaboration systems that are difficult to use, isolated and underutilized? If so, Sametime 8.5's unified user experience and open integration can help make UC simple for users, leverage those existing investments and drive real business value.
For more information, you can read the Announcement Letter
or visit the new Sametime web site
Many of you may have seen IBM Foundations Reach demo'd at VoiceCon (Enterprise Connect) earlier this year. Foundations Reach is an appliance that puts
- Core IT functions - email, calendars, productivity tools, network security, remote access, file and print sharing, backup and disaster recovery
- AND real time collaborative tools - secured instant messaging, VoIP and video chat capabilities (ie: Sametime)
- On a single package priced with the small business budget in mind.
Now Shortel's IP telephony, audio conferencing, mobility, voicemail and
unified messaging work with Foundations Reach... and it's winning awards.
Mark Arman, vice president of business development, ShoreTel "This Unified Communications TMC Labs Innovation Award reflects the commitment the ShoreTel team has made to deliver a brilliantly simple UC solution for SMBs that helps eliminate complexity and offers the lowest total cost of ownership in the industry. ShoreTel for IBM Foundations is designed to transform every organization in which it is deployed, with unprecedented ease of use, reliability and features -- all backed with ShoreTel's commitment to world-class customer satisfaction. We're proud that TMC has recognized this industry-first achievement."
Buck Baker, president, ScanSource Communications "We are delighted that
ShoreTel for IBM Foundations has been recognized by TMCnet for its
innovation and market leadership. We're already seeing an enormous
interest for this product among small and midsize businesses eager to
take advantage of powerful and reliable unified communications features
without the cost and complexity of a traditional approach. With many
resellers already offering this out-of-the box solution, and many more
in the process of signing up, SMBs around the world can now simplify and
modernize their business communications on a reliable platform built
Caleb Barlow, director, Lotus Foundations, IBM "With this recognition and award, it's clear that ShoreTel for IBM Foundations is the perfect choice for businesses who are looking for a 'UCC-in-a-box' solution that is effortless on all levels -- painless to deploy, simple to manage and easy to maintain. The first communications technology that turns a PBX into an appliance, ShoreTel for IBM Foundations takes simple, yet innovative technology to a whole new level."
You care read more here
Jim Burton wrote an excellent article outlining what Lotusphere 2010 meant for Unified Communications.
What impresses me most about IBM’s UC2 solutions are
the breadth and depth of the product offerings. Most of IBM’s UC
products have evolved over 10 years, with continual added
functionality. Many of the demos at Lotusphere showed how easy it is to
add functionality to an application...
While waiting for the Sametime 8.5 demo I assumed that it
couldn’t be a big deal – not with a .5 release. Well, I was wrong. IBM
Lotus really beefed up the collaboration capabilities with a new online
meeting experience, new mobility support, and a social views capability
that makes it easier to find people you collaborate with the most.
Another surprise was the improved integration with Microsoft Outlook
Lotus also made it easier for partners to integrate with its UCC
platform. Of special interest to me is the SIP-based audio/video
interoperability, which brings me to Sametime Unified Telephony (SUT).... Several customers had integrated Sametime into a multi-vendor PBX
environment using SUT. This is a really big deal. Customers told me
that they were able to combine the value of Sametime with telephony and
video capabilities without replacing their existing phone systems.
What made the biggest impression on me from Lotusphere is the large number of customers who got on stage to talk about their Lotus implementations and applications. Almost every announcement and product introduction included customer testimonials. What’s more, many of these customers were or are Microsoft shops using Exchange and SharePoint. IBM went out of its way to explain its desire to provide customers with choices – even when it means supporting a competitive product... I know that based on what I witnessed at Lotusphere, IBM Lotus continues to have a great vision for UC and collaboration – as well as lots of passionate and loyal customers.
To read more, see the entire article on UCStrategies
In case you missed them, here is a quick summary of the unified communications & collaboration press releases issued by IBM partners at Lotusphere:
In the event that you just can't wait the weekend to see what IBM will be unveiling at VoiceCon / E2.0, UC Strategies
has posted a podcast
featuring Bruce Morse.
"Bruce Morse, Vice President of IBM’s Unified Communications Software Group, has a conversation with Jim Burton about what's new with IBM in the unified communications market and research that showed many are CEOs thinking about UC. They also discuss the key challenges customers face and the key capabilities an enterprise should be considering. Bruce talks about IBM’s role in the UC market as the industry goes through consolidation and a lot of M&A activity. He also shares what he will present during his keynote at VoiceCon on November 3rd in San Francisco."
Next week, IBM will have a significant presence at the VoiceCon / E2.0 event in San Francisco. To learn more about what we offer for unified communications and social networking, stop by both 609 in the exhibit hall.
We also invite you to attend any of many sessions where IBM'ers will be presenting:
- Nov 2, 11-12, Pat Galvin, CTO IBM UC2 Software, CTO Roundtable on Next Generation Architectures
- Nov 2, 3:15-4:15, Marisa Viveros, IBM VP Converged Communication Services, Managed & Hosted Offerings for UC
- Nov 2, 3:14-4:15, David Marshak, Senior Product Manager, UC2 Software, Presence, Progress of Federation
- Nov 3, 11:15-12:00. Bruce Morse, VP UC2 Software, Keynote
- Nov 3, 11:15-12:00, Wim Hofland, Manager, Inspiration & Innovation, Sogeti, Case Studies in Enterprise Micro-Blogging
- Nov 3, 2:00-3:00, Akiba Saeedi, Director UC2 Software, UC Leadership Roundtable
- Nov 3, 2:00-5:00, David Marshak, Comparing UC Options and Vendors
- Nov 3, 4:15-5:00, Akiba Saeedi, Future of Social Messaging in the Enterprise
- Nov 3, 4:15-5:00, Jeff Schick and Wim Hofland, Customer Perspective on IBM Enterprise Social Software
- Nov 4, 8:00-10:00, Robert Ingram, Senior Product Manager, UC2 Software, Integrating Mobility with UC
- Nov 4, 10:15-11:00, Jeff Schick, VP IBM Social Software, Social Software, Creating Value Today and Opportunities Tomorrow
- Nov 4, 1:00-1:45, Marisa Viveros, VoiceCon Summit: The Evolution of UC
- Nov 4, 3:15-4:15, Marlon Machado, Product Manager Sametime Platform, Developing Voice Apps using Mashups ans SOA