IBM today announced Lotus Connections 3.0, the latest version of the company's three-year-old enterprise social networking suite.
Company officials said the update includes new social analytics features that will make it easier for users to find people within or outside their organizations who might want or have relevant content to share.
IBM (NYSE: IBM), which has invested billions in the past few years to acquire leading-edge business intelligence and analytics software vendors, has already incorporated some of these newly acquired technologies to help companies turn all the Facebook, Twitter and Jive clutter into organized and efficient business resources.
In May, Big Blue unveiled the latest update to its SPSS (acquired for $1.2 billion in 2009) predictive analytics apps to give enterprise users the tools they need to monitor and analyze social media data generated on Facebook or via RSS feeds and blogs.
Lotus Connections 3.0 takes this theme to the next logical step, incorporating social analytics features and widgets to bring people together based on their profiles and how they interact with the same collaboration tools.
"Social business helps organizations transform the way they work by connecting people and accelerating decision-making," Alistair Rennie, general manager of IBM's collaboration and social software, said in a statement. "IBM is at the forefront of enabling social business, and driving a new generation of organizational productivity, with a secure and compliant social collaboration platform."
Along with seamless integration with IBM's Lotus Notes and Sametime, Lotus Connections 3.0 is now fully integrated with Microsoft Sharepoint.
Perhaps most important, Connections 3.0 will now be supported on more mobile devices, including Apple's iPad and the full complement of devices running Google's white-hot Android mobile operating system. The suite was already available on BlackBerry, Nokia, Windows mobile devices and the iPhone.
IBM said a number of clients, including Bayer MaterialScience, CEMEX and global technology consultancy Sogeti, are already using Lotus Connections 3.0 to connect employees and partners through a variety of social media outlets.
With Lotus Connections as a social collaboration platform, we have a global tool to connect our thousands of employees in all of the countries where we work," said Michiel Boreel, CTO of the Sogeti Group. "We're excited about Lotus Connections 3.0 as it provides us with enhanced functionality."
Lotus Connections 3.0 will be available on Nov. 24.