IBM Launches New Cloud, Collaboration Services for Government Agencies
IBM has announced new cloud-based collaboration services to help U.S. federal government organizations adopt social computing.
The new set of social collaboration services, delivered on IBM's Federal Information Security Management Act (FISMA)-compliant Federal Community Cloud, addresses the administration's drive to adopt a "cloud-first" policy which is designed to help the government improve its overall IT efficiency and delivery of services to citizens, IBM said in a press release.
IBM's new cloud services include social software such as wikis, microblogs, communities, staff profiles, instant messaging, web conferencing and email. IBM's services also support popular mobile devices including Android phones and tablets, Apple iPhone 4 and iPad, BlackBerry, and Nokia Symbian platform. Industry analyst firm IDC ranked IBM first in the social platforms market share for 2009 and 2010.
Accessing social software as a cloud service can help federal agencies introduce new capabilities at a lower cost and in a more timely fashion, IBM said. These services can be provided for staff on demand without long term commitments and help the government reduce waste and consolidate IT spending.
"The rise in Big Data and the demand for transparency and collaboration will continue to put pressure on agencies to embrace new computing environments such as cloud to improve IT capabilities," said Todd S. Ramsey, general manager of IBM s U.S. Federal organization, in a statement. "IBM cloud collaboration solutions will help agencies gain faster access to the latest technologies, increase innovation across departments and ultimately improve citizen services."
IBM's social software, which is part of the new service, has many useful productivity tools including blogs to allow staff to gather and prioritize community ideas, present their own ideas and learn from others. And the software s communities feature enables people to exchange and share information with others through a web browser, instant messaging, or email software.
Other productivity enhancing tools in the IBM solution include: File sharing and microblogs to facilitate collaboration with dynamic networks of co-workers, partners and customers; instant messaging and online meetings to work seamlessly across geographies; and profiles allow people to find and work with others who share common interests and expertise as well as expand their social networks. Tags and social analytics technologies assist with this task.