December 11, 2008
ARMONK, N.Y., Dec. 11 -- IBM today introduced its the newest cloud service for Web conferencing, Lotus Sametime Unyte 8.2 (www.sametimeunyte.com). IBM also announced a new distribution partnership with InterCall to deliver Lotus Sametime Unyte's intuitive online meeting capability to InterCall customers worldwide.
By extending the capabilities of its Web conferencing service to the global market, IBM is meeting a groundswell of demand for cloud services. As more companies are investing in collaboration technology, Lotus Sametime Unyte brings an affordable, easy-to-use option for businesses that need to work together across cities and continents, just as they would in the same room. The added support for open document formats, such as Lotus Symphony, along with support for nine languages ensures companies in emerging and established markets can collaborate simply by paying a monthly subscription.
The partnership with InterCall brings together two worldwide leaders in the conferencing and collaboration space, as market indicators show a growing business demand for online collaboration services. InterCall is the latest service provider to bolster its portfolio with a cloud-based solution from IBM, enabling businesses of all sizes to use the Lotus Sametime Unyte Web conferencing service to collaborate anywhere on the globe. The integrated Sametime Unyte services will be available to InterCall users on Jan. 1.
The marketing and sales partnership, combined with Lotus Sametime Unyte's improved global network and language support, opens the door for enterprises and SMB customers around the world to take advantage of IBM's easy-to-use conferencing services. Lotus Sametime Unyte can be accessed through any Web browser with no downloaded software required, making it a more audience-friendly alternative to other online services.
"Our relationship with a trusted partner like IBM helps us put simple, yet powerful Web conferencing solutions into the hands of users around the globe," said Scott Etzler, president of InterCall. "Lotus Sametime Unyte's easy-to-use collaboration tools fit perfectly with our mission to provide products that help customers increase their productivity and eliminate communication inefficiencies."
"Sametime Unyte delivers the reliability businesses expect from IBM, while offering the inherent ease of access and pricing associated with cloud services," said Sean Poulley, vice president of online collaboration services for IBM Lotus. "At a time when companies are becoming more environmentally aware and focused on reducing travel expenses without slowing their growth, IBM's new partnership with InterCall shows how we're helping businesses 'go global' at a minimal cost."
The new release of Sametime Unyte has network acceleration enhancements that allow faster access to the service from anywhere on the globe. In keeping with its efforts to bolster collaboration across the globe, Sametime Unyte is now available in nine languages: French, German, Italian, Spanish, Chinese, Japanese, Korean, Brazilian Portuguese and English. By enabling these businesses to communicate in real-time with a worldwide network of employees, partners and customers, Sametime Unyte can help growing businesses become global trading partners.
IBM has also integrated Sametime Unyte with Lotus Notes and Lotus Sametime, allowing users working by email or instant messaging to join a Web conference with a single click of a button. The newest features also include a participant "waiting room" to gather attendees before the call; improved alerts for meeting organizers; new support for the FireFox 3.0 browser; as well as the ability to share or publish PDF and ODF files, in addition to PPT, DOC and XLS files.
Online collaboration technology can be a growth catalyst for SMBs, such as Padgett Communications, a provider of audience response systems. Using software to measure participant reactions at corporate events, meetings and media events, Padgett Communications maintains a global customer base with a staff of 25 full-time employees.
"Lotus Sametime Unyte gives us the ability to show our clients how our audience response system works through a visual demonstration, rather than just telling them about it," said Lauren Traviesa, director of business development at Padgett Communications. "We have drastically reduced the costs of travel for our sales and support team, which is a huge windfall of cost-savings that we're able to pass along to our customers. If our customers have questions about our service, we can connect directly to them with the push of a button, from any computer in our office, at home, or on the road."
For Martin Memorial Health Systems, a network of not-for-profit healthcare facilities comprised of two hospitals, three MediCenters, and numerous clinics spanning a 35-mile stretch of Florida's east coast, the common-sense benefits of Web conferencing are apparent.
"Even before the cost of gas went sky-high this summer, I appreciated the reduced travel between facilities just because it added more time to my day," said Chuck Cleaver, assistant vice president of finance for Martin Memorial Health Systems. "With Lotus Sametime Unyte, I can meet with all the key players in our finance operations, and see the same documents that are on their screens, without leaving my office and without needing help from our technical support team."
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