IBM unveils Quickr tools to stave off SharePoint

Quickr is a content management system that includes team workspaces and runs on either Windows, Linux or Unix

IBM has released a data migration tool that is a critical component in providing its Notes/Domino install base an alternative to moving to Microsoft's SharePoint Server.

IBM Lotus Quickr Content Integrator provides wizards and templates for moving content in mass to Quickr from SharePoint sites, Microsoft Exchange folders, IBM Lotus Domino Document Manager libraries and IBM Lotus Domino team room applications.

The Content Integrator also supports co-existence of data on multiple platforms during an elongated migration, including synchronization capabilities.

Quickr is a content management system that includes team workspaces and runs on either Windows, Linux or Unix. It also is a component of IBM's unified communications stack that revolves around Domino, Sametime and Connections, a set of social networking tools.

"Quickr and Integrator help with our story around more open and flexible platforms," says David Kajmo, senior product manager for Lotus Quickr.

IBM also announced that the Quickr 8.1 upgrade is now available. There are two versions, Quickr Domino, which is based on NSF, and Quickr WebSphere Portal, which is a J2EE application.

Quickr has emerged as a key weapon for IBM in the battle with Microsoft over unified communications because SharePoint is helping pull end users to other Microsoft software.

SharePoint is closely integrated with Microsoft's unified communications platform, its Exchange e-mail server, Live Communications Server, Office and Office applications including back-end file sharing repositories for Excel, Word and PowerPoint.

SharePoint has been on a rocket ride, producing more than US$1 billion in revenue for Microsoft. Late last year, an IDC survey of 300 users found 61 percent were deploying SharePoint enterprise-wide, and that 28 percent of those using SharePoint in departments now are expected to expand usage to the enterprise within the next 12 months.

IBM is hoping to choke off that uptake. The Content Integrator is based on software from Casahl Technology, which for years has offered elegant migration tools to move users between the Lotus and Microsoft platforms.

For IBM to be successful in beating back SharePoint, Casahl CEO Harry Wong says IBM has to sell customers on Quickr vs. SharePoint; on Lotus Notes 8 and its Outlook-like interface and integration with Lotus Sametime and Connections; and convince bigger Domino shops the J2EE version of Quickr will provide the scale that SharePoint currently lacks.

"IBM/Lotus has the weapons to defend against Microsoft SharePoint if IBM/Lotus acts quickly and aggressively," he says.

Content Integrator is part of that action. It provides server-to-server bulk movement of data and meta-data. Users have options to transform document formats and can retain access controls including SharePoint permissions. In addition, document and application level access controls can be maintained on documents moved from Domino to Quickr.

IBM has also upgraded Quickr with an 8.1 version, which includes connectors that let users access content from Lotus Symphony productivity applications or Microsoft Outlook; a new administrative console to centrally manage Quickr deployments including statistical reporting on user activity; new navigation and versioning capabilities; and Lotus Quickr Entry, which provides pre-built personal file sharing spaces where users can share links to information. Entry is also available as a standalone product.

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