IBM goes mobile

Big Blue adapts its software for Blackberry, iPhone

A long time ago, I had several colleagues who worked for IBM. The joke at the time was that IBM stood for “I’ve Been Moved,” as several of them were transferred to far away places, a process that is still apparently happening at the mega-corporation. One of them was even recently transferred back to the area, though he’s leaving his stuff in boxes, just in case.

Announcements coming out of the annual Lotusphere conference, a fun little event run by IBM’s Lotus division that takes place in Disney World each year, suggests that IBM may be going mobile in a different way.

The company is embracing the handheld market and getting its complex database products into mobile phones. First, Lotus Notes Traveler, the push application for Notes, is moving to the iPhone. You can test it now if you want, but you have to be a member of the Lotus Greenhouse.

On the other side of the mobile fence, IBM is even going so far as to start reselling RIM Blackberry phones loaded with IBM collaboration software. These new phones should be out later this year and will feature the Blackberry Client for IBM Lotus Quickr, plus IBM Lotus Connections, the company’s social software suite. According to IBM, the mobile apps will have all the security of the main programs to ensure safe access to data.

This just goes to show that mobile is the way to go, and that tiny devices such as Blackberrys, Droids  and iPhones are rapidly becoming true network clients, with all the advantages and admin headaches that entails. When a company like IBM, known more for supercomputers, solid servers and blunt-force computing like the Deep Blue chess machine start to go mobile, you know its time has come.

Surprise. The world just got a little smaller.

About the Author

John Breeden II is a freelance technology writer for GCN.


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