Van Doren also ranks IBM as being far ahead in its social networking software for business with Lotus Connections tied into presence and with its capabilities for mining information within the corporate network to enhance finding the right people for specific tasks. "They've been working on this four or five years," he says. "Cisco is just starting to do it."
IBM also seems to be opening up its platforms more to third-party developers, he says. UC needs ecosystems that independent developers can work in, and Van Doren thinks IBM may be getting to that point. Earlier, the company seemed to want to make releases rock solid before opening up to partners, but it may serve the company better to be more open to third-party developers sooner. "It's a much better strategy to get [products] out there with more people finding things that need to be fixed. The winner will be the company that opens up and supports best their ecosystem."
Has IBM turned a corner? "Man, I hope so. We need another strong player in this industry," Van Doren says.
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