Next Generation IBM WebSphere Portal Helps Businesses Achieve Goals With Web 2.0 Enhancements
IBM (NYSE: IBM) today announced a single, simplified IBM WebSphere Portal offering with enhanced Web 2.0 tooling and a set of tailored business-ready packages -- or “accelerators” that support a quicker return on investments and shortened implementation cycles for specific business problems. Also available later this month is IBM Portlet for Google Gadgets that allows end users to integrate consumer-style web utilities, extending the value of Internet services to business environments.
Accelerators for WebSphere Portal address specific business problems and can simplify the implementation of customized solutions on a single portal platform. For example, IBM Dashboard Accelerator provides an easy way for companies to align objectives, view real time business results, and take action on performance gaps. The Dashboards are easily customizable and can be tailored to any industry. For instance, an energy company can build an emissions dashboard for plant operators showing real time emissions from the different utility devices as well as a scorecard that monitors performance against a set of objectives to help comply with regulatory requirements.
WebSphere Portal also includes expanded support for Web 2.0 technologies that provides users with popular features such as enhanced interactivity and responsiveness, in-line editing, intuitive drag and drop features, and intelligent page refresh. New Web 2.0 tooling means organizations can easily deploy high performing, intuitive applications, satisfying end users’ expectations for a rich browser experience. IBM’s WebSphere Portal is the industry leading enterprise portal that offers extensive support for Web 2.0 technologies, including Ajax (Asynchronous Java + XML) and support for Representational State Transfer services (REST). These technology advances make portals more responsive and user-friendly than traditional Web applications.
Because of WebSphere Portal’s open architecture, Service Oriented Architecture (SOA) concepts and rich support of Web 2.0 technologies, a user can mashup over 5,000 portlets and services from IBM’s Portal Solutions Catalog with an entirely new portfolio of Key Performance Indicator (KPI) portlets for faster dashboard assembly.
For the second half of 2007* IBM plans additional enhancements that allow WebSphere Portal users to combine business data with available Google Gadgets to create new dynamic business applications. For example, a logistics company can create a customer service application over the coordinates on a Google map to show different pickup points.
Introducing accelerators to address key business problems
The accelerators address specific business needs across a variety of industries, including real-time performance monitoring of business operations, human resource management of personal employee information, and discovery of contacts with specified expertise through social networks.
The accelerators include:
-IBM Dashboard Accelerator, available now, provides flexible tools and a framework for assembling dynamic dashboards and scorecards linking strategic objectives to real-time performance information. With no additional charge to access to a new Dashboard Key Performance Indicator (KPI) catalog, customers can easily download portlets and assemble them into dashboard applications. For example, a company looking to quickly deploy a sales dashboard would find relevant portlets such as Top Opportunities, Customer List, and Customer Satisfaction already developed.
-IBM Collaboration Accelerator, planned for availability mid-year 2007*, helps bring portal applications to life with features that drive team collaboration to a new level and help improve productivity. These include team workspaces, document libraries, web conferencing, people profiles and directories, and enterprise social networking features such as blogs, wikis and shared bookmarking.
-IBM Self-Service Accelerator, planned for availability midyear*, provides employees and managers with an intuitive user experience for self- service capabilities such as new employee onboarding, viewing paycheck and tax information, managing personal information, and initiating and managing career transactions such as departmental job transfers.
IBM Content Accelerator, planned for availability in 2H 2007*, enables customers to build and manage high value websites, intranets, extranets, and portals with advanced search services. Businesses can easily create content using intuitive, web-based tools, delivered with a high level of personalization to site visitors. The Content Accelerator allows organizations to keep web content current, accurate, and up-to-date while preserving brand identity or corporate web standards.
-IBM Enterprise Suite Accelerator, planned for availability 2H 2007*, delivers an integrated solution of content, advanced search services, collaboration, and dashboard accelerators, as well as forms and offline client support. The Enterprise Suite Accelerator provides a security-rich, extendable, standards-based platform to help enterprises deploy multiple types of portals to their employees, customers, and partners.
“Customers have asked us for faster ways to deploy and extend portals directly supporting their business objectives, and that’s exactly what we are doing with today’s announcement,” said Larry Bowden, vice president of portals and web interaction services, IBM. “We are helping customers focus their efforts on business results by introducing a flexible set of accelerators and enabling easy application of Web 2.0 capabilities to their business initiatives.”
“Our company does $8 billion in business annually. The accelerator for WebSphere Portal and Dashboard has helped greatly improve immediate insight into the status and condition of our operations. These solutions have not only helped to eliminate missed and under-billings and to increase customer satisfaction, but the rapid tooling has also helped us avoid significant development costs,” said David Szymanski, director of IT development, TransMontaigne. “Dashboards are saving employees several hours of processing each customer service request -- improving overall productivity and impacting our bottom line profits.”
WebSphere Portal, with support for scalable and flexible SOA implementations of business ready solutions and integrated Web 2.0 technologies, allows business users to assemble situational applications based on their job, personal preferences or career interests. This customization is powered by WebSphere Portal’s composite application templates; drag and drop portlet palette; browser-based wiring tool; and thousands of configurable components, including the IBM Portlet for Google Gadgets. Developers can take advantage of a new release of WebSphere Portlet Factory, a portlet development environment with out-of-the-box AJAX components that enable point and click creation of rich, browser-based applications.
“For Ascendent Technology and our several hundred WebSphere Portal customers, this announcement demonstrates IBM’s leadership and commitment to a full Web 2.0 experience,” said Jim Deters, president of Ascendent Technology. “By combining access to Google Gadgets with added AJAX and REST capabilities, our customers get the best in enterprise software with the elegance of consumer web applications through tight, seamless integration with enterprise utilities. Our customers will also benefit from the accelerators providing faster deployment time, more flexibility and more options to make our offerings more consumable for customers of any size.”
Availability and Pricing:
IBM WebSphere Portal Server, priced at $51,500 per processor and the Dashboard Accelerator, with a cost of $67,000 per processor, are available this month. The Dashboard KPI Catalog is included at no charge for any licensed customer of the Dashboard Accelerator at www.ibm.com/lotus/dashboardcatalog.
Also available this month, IBM WebSphere Portal Express Version 6.0 is a collaborative portal solution designed for midmarket companies with less than 1,000 users and departments of larger organizations. Portal Express is a single package with flexible pricing options that range from $2,300 for a 20-user pack to $39,999 per processor for extranets.
The IBM Portlet for Google Gadgets is a no charge feature of WebSphere Portal Server available in this month at http://catalog.lotus.com/wps/portal/portal.
*Product release dates and/or capabilities referenced in these materials may change at any time at IBM’s sole discretion based on market opportunities or other factors, and are not intended to be a commitment to future product or feature availability in any way.
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