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IBM introduces new portal software for integrating, routing and managing key business information

  • 30 July, 2003 16:06

<p>New WebSphere software includes portal document management, editor, spreadsheet, and presentation functions</p>
<p>Sydney, Australia, 30 July 2003 - IBM today announced updated software for accessing and integrating disparate applications, business processes and data while collaborating with colleagues via a single Web-based environment and sign-on.</p>
<p>Today, information that resides within such things as financial reports, customer relationship data and supply chain management applications is often in different formats and distributed across numerous platforms, making it difficult for employees, partners, customers and vendors ability to access meaningful content quickly. This leads to ineffectiveness because they must hunt for the most current and relevant information - and manually integrate, route and manage it. IBM's new portal software is designed to enable business to centrally manage and automate much of the process -- saving time and increasing productivity.</p>
<p>Expected to be available on 21 August, the new version of IBM's industry leading WebSphere Portal software will better enable companies to more easily distribute relevant information from one application to another via its new cooperative portlets functionality that is built upon the popular "click to action" features in WebSphere Portal. Take for instance a company that has an HR application that resides within their portal. It may be important to them to share information with other applications such as finance and expense tools. Previously, the application owner would have had to build connections between the different applications to ensure access to the most up-to-date information that is now provided within WebSphere Portal.</p>
<p>The new WebSphere Portal software will also include out-of the-box portal document management functions -- enabling businesses to centrally share, organise, integrate, manage and edit business information such as financial reports, product spec sheets or sales documents within a portal. As a result, businesses will be able to track versions to manage the document's evolution, and control access to manage viewing privileges. Rather than being locked away on a user's laptop, the value of the document is enhanced as it moves through a business process and is immediately available to portal users.</p>
<p>Customers can save significant costs associated with basic text, spreadsheets and presentations. Customers will now be able to view, create, convert and edit these files with a new set of productivity tools included within WebSphere Portal. The new set of productivity components enables end users to interact with information, applications, and people across their business from the same place the content resides, from the same portal interface.</p>
<p>WebSphere Portal will also provide even better ease-of-use capabilities and a simpler installation process that will enable customers to spend less time deploying their portal and more time working within it - hence returning value to their company at a faster rate. Additionally, it will include performance improvements to more reliable mission-critical functionality and faster integration of existing back-end and enterprise applications via Portlet Application Integrator portlet builders.</p>
<p>“WebSphere Portal Version 5 has significant improvements, including added programming interfaces, better install process and enhanced management capabilities,” said David Kennington, Vice President of Information Systems for Prudential Financial. “The steps IBM’s taken in the new release are excellent examples of how portals should evolve and is consistent with Prudential’s commitment to continually pursuing technologies that help us provide enhanced service to our clients and maintain cost efficiencies.”</p>
<p>"Customers are demanding faster time to value, and the deployment and functional improvements in WebSphere Portal deliver customers a more resilient, flexible, and adaptive environment to achieve their business goals," said Larry Bowden, vice president of Portals and Lotus products for IBM. “Portals simplify an increasing complex environment for the user, and the ease of use and speed of interaction now possible through WebSphere Portal are designed to keep it simple and productive for the user."</p>
<p>For organisations that have more-advanced portal requirements, IBM is also enhancing the search capabilities and powerful teaming and collaboration functionality within the portal.</p>
<p>In addition to the ability to search across a variety of data stores such as, IBM DB2 Content Manager and Universal Database, Oracle, IBM Lotus Domino, popular Web search engines and text or HTML documents; IBM has extended its search capabilities. The new version of WebSphere Portal will incorporate more advanced document filters, provides relevant summaries of content within the documents and categorises the results based on search parameters. Thus enabling customers to more quickly and easily search and identify pertinent material from multiple sources.</p>
<p>WebSphere Portal will also include the Collaboration Center that takes advantage of Lotus software to extend the portal’s existing functions. The Collaboration Center allows users to interact with multiple collaboration applications - corporate white pages, organisational charts, instant messaging, team workplaces and virtual meetings to increase individual and organisational productivity.</p>
<p>IBM will also deliver new versions of WebSphere Portal for small and mid-sized businesses and smaller departments within larger companies. WebSphere Portal - Express will offer SMBs with portal software that is particularly simple to deploy and use. With only a few clicks of the mouse, customers and IBM Business Partners can customise a page layout, add new portlets and users and completely change the portal's look and feel. For SMBs interested leveraging collaborative tools within a portal, WebSphere Portal - Express will also include instant messaging, online "people-awareness" and chat, virtual team rooms, group calendaring and task management.</p>
<p>IBM Corporation
IBM is the world's largest information technology company, with 80 years of leadership in helping businesses innovate. IBM Software offers the widest range of middleware and operating systems for all types of computing platforms, allowing customers to take full advantage of the new era of e-business. The fastest way to get more information about IBM WebSphere is by clicking on http://www.ibm.com/websphere.</p>
<p>IBM, WebSphere, DB2 Universal Database and Lotus Domino are trademarks or registered trademarks of International Business Machines Corporation in the United States, others countries, or both. All other company, product or service names may be trademarks or service marks of others. All statements regarding IBM's plans, directions, and intent are subject to change or withdrawal without notice.</p>
<p>Media Contact:
Bethany Poore
IBM WebSphere PR
Mobile: 0407 576 501
Email: bethanyp@au1.ibm.com</p>

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