IBM has launched an effort to extend Web 2.0 to the corporate world by unveiling team collaboration, social computing and web mashup development tools.
The new Quickr 8, Lotus Connections and Info 2.0 products are part of IBM's new "Web 2.0 Goes to Work" initiative, which aims to expand business use of popular consumer technologies like blogs, wikis and social networks, said Rod Smith, vice president of emerging technologies.
Web 2.0 technology can help workers more easily brainstorm and collaborate with one another and with corporate partners and customers, explained Smith.
Oliver Young, an analyst at Forrester Research said that the Quickr and Connections tools will be welcomed in companies where employees bring Web 2.0 technologies into work to "collaborate in ways they can at home."
However, he cautioned that calculating a return on investment will be difficult. "There are only rare cases where you can say, 'This is how much time it saved,' or, 'This is exactly how many systems we were able to sunset.'"
John Tincher, global Lotus Notes administrator at Flint Group North America, said that his firm has made limited use of Web 2.0 technologies and that he doubts they will become business-critical in the near term.
"Having the social networking at some point will be wonderful, but I don't see it taking root at least for another couple of years in our environment," he said.
Tincher said he uses a blog to list his daily schedule for his bosses to view and wiki technology to make Notes administration resources available to colleagues.
Company-wide, however, the manufacturer of printing inks, plates and pigments is just now delving into the use of instant messaging and relies on email as its primary communications tool, he added.
The Quickr 8 team collaboration tool helps companies use blogs, wikis and team space templates to share business documents and access libraries through plug-ins, IBM said.
The Lotus Connections social networking tool set includes Web 2.0 components like bookmarking, IBM said.