IBM will release several mobile applications today designed to let employees use IBM enterprise social collaboration software with iPads and other mobile devices, recognising the increasing trend of tablets being used in the workplace.
The new applications, free to customers with active licences of the IBM software being tapped, have been built specifically for tablet interfaces and have security, IT management and compliance features.
"The apps are very lightweight and talk directly back in a secure manner to the enterprise systems that people who don't have these devices are using inside the company," said Rob Ingram, senior manager of IBM's Mobile Collaboration Strategy.
One of the applications lets employees use IBM Connections via iPads, while another one is for LotusLive Meeting users to participate in online meetings using iPhones or Android, BlackBerry or iPad tablets.
For IBM Sametime, another application lets employees engage in one-on-one or group instant messaging sessions on iPad and Android tablets. There is also one application for Lotus Symphony Viewer that lets users view ODF-based files, including documents, spreadsheets and presentations, on iPads, iPhones or Android devices.
There are also applications for managing telephony tasks within IBM Sametime from tablets and for Android device users to add widgets to home screens as shortcuts to their Lotus Notes mail and calendar.
"All of these capabilities together provide a workable set of solutions for people that are coming to us in droves now looking for iPad and other tablet support," Ingram said.
IBM is also releasing on its developerWorks website preview versions of new tools for enterprise developers to create mobile applications for Android devices. The company also has a new WebSphere tool for companies to enhance their sites' mobile interfaces.
The applications will be available in popular mobile app stores like the Apple App Store and Android Market.