IBM ties LotusLive into SugarCRM, Ariba database

Integration feature in IBM's collaboration suite will enable sales people to start LotusLive Web conferences from within SugarCRM and share documents

IBM's LotusLive on-demand collaboration suite is getting a boost via integration with SugarCRM and Ariba's Discovery Service supplier database, the companies announced Thursday.

The SugarCRM integration feature, scheduled to be generally available in April, will allow sales people to fire up LotusLive Web conferences from within SugarCRM and share documents, according to a statement.

[ In October IBM added Notes capabilities to its LotusLive collaboration suite. | Discover what's new in business applications with InfoWorld's Technology: Applications newsletter. ]

It's also an attempt by SugarCRM to tap enterprise-level LotusLive users, along with the small and medium-size business base it has historically catered to, said CEO Larry Augustin in an interview.

Meanwhile, the addition of Ariba Discovery, set for the first half of this year, will give LotusLive users a way to contact and collaborate with more than 300,000 sellers that are listed on the service.

The partnerships broaden the potential footprint of LotusLive, which IBM has built out through acquisitions as well as organic development.

IBM's announcement drew praise from Stuart McIntyre, a collaboration consultant in the U.K. and author of The LotusLive Blog. "I see the addition of SugarCRM to the LotusLive portfolio as being a significant one -- with many small businesses and startups, CRM is the first step towards a centralized collaboration and management solution, and so having a number of options in LotusLive to solve this business need is important," he wrote Thursday.

IBM released the LotusLive news in advance of the Lotusphere conference, which starts Sunday in Orlando, Fla.

Chris Kanaracus covers enterprise software and general technology breaking news for The IDG News Service. Chris's email address is Chris_Kanaracus@idg.com.

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