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IBM steps up cloud collaboration services

Big Blue unveils new service that allows users to connect to cloud collaboration tools and social networks for $10 per month.

IBM announced a new cloud-based service today for LotusLive that allows users to access collaborative tools and connect with others over the Web. The service attempts to "accelerate the adoption of cloud-collaboration services" in the corporate world, the company said.

LotusLive Collaboration Suite's communities feature. Click to enlarge. IBM

According to IBM, the new LotusLive Collaboration Suite, available now, includes "enterprise-class e-mail, calendaring, instant messaging, Web conferencing, file sharing, and social-networking services."

The company has also added a "communities" collaboration feature to LotusLive, which allows users to tag important data, share files, keep track of projects, and more. The feature provides access to forums between multiple companies, as well.

IBM said that it will charge companies $10 per user per month for the collaboration suite.

IBM also unveiled the cloud-based LotusLive Notes. It delivers e-mail, calendaring, instant messaging, and contacts-management. LotusLive Notes costs $5 per user per month.

The cloud is quickly becoming an important growth area for vendors. And IBM, like many other firms, is capitalizing on that. But a recent study from systems management provider Zenoss found that Amazon Web Services is still the top player in the cloud space.