Monday, October 6, 2008

Bluehouse is in public beta

IBM announced cloud computing applications at Lotusphere in January of this year. A service called Bluehouse is a web-delivered social networking and collaboration service targeted to the SMB market. Bluehouse enables people to share documents, projects, and contacts, and offers online conferencing features as well. The Bluehouse service has gone into public beta.

Willy Chiu, VP at IBM of High Performance On-Demand Solutions stated: "We are moving our clients, the industry and even IBM itself to have a mixture of data and applications that live in the data centre and in the cloud." IBM's approach is to expand its cloud computing offerings through a 'four-pronged strategy':

  • Deliver a home spun set of cloud services

  • Enable ISVs to design and build cloud services

  • Help customers integrate cloud services into their business

  • Sell cloud computing infrastructure to businesses for on-premise deployments

  • In addition to Bluehouse, IBM is also rolling out a handful of web services. Policy Tester On-Demand will automate the scanning of web content to ensure that it complies with industry legislation, and AppScan On-Demand will scan web applications for security bugs. Sean Poulley, VP of Online Collaboration Services compared the Bluehouse tools to those of Microsoft and Google: "Whereas Microsoft is document centric and Google is email centric, our solution is a mixture of both".

    IBM's $400M investment in a new data center to support this new mid-market SaaS/Cloud Computing services portfolio, brings another large player into the mix. These tools have been a long time coming but with every major brand now on-line, the branding wars can begin.

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