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There's no business like social business, says IBM

Sim Ahmed | Feb. 9, 2012
At the IBM's Lotusphere conference in Florida last month, Big Blue made several announcements on the future of its enterprise collaboration software.

"I thought, my God, we did this over the internet," marvelled Burns.

Burns implored the audience of technologists to continue developing enterprise collaboration tools, so the benefits can be harnessed in the medical sector.

Father of the web speaks out

Sir Tim Berners-Lee, who in the 1980s helped create web specifications such as HTTP, HTML, and URLs, was at this year's Lotusphere conference to speak on the topic of the semantic web. However, when asked about challenges technologists face online today, Berners-Lee took the opportunity to protest about legislation that could potentially harm the web he helped create.

The Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA) and the Protect Intellectual Property Act (PIPA), are two pieces of copyright legislation before the US Congress and Senate respectively. The two bills caused controversy in the technology community for their potential use in censorship, and the difficulty in due process it poses for accused infringers. These concerns were brought to mainstream attention when prominent organisations like Wikipedia and Google blacked out parts of their sites for 24 hours in protest.

Berners-Lee says he opposes the bills because they contradict the democratic principles of a country like the US, and implored the audience to vocalise their complaints to their local government representatives

"These are basically just United States censorship bills," says Berners-Lee.

"They have not been put together to respect human rights as is appropriate in a democratic country like this."

He told the cheering crowd that the web in its nature is open, and attempts to close it off could significantly harm it.

"All this stuff depends on the internet working, and you being able to connect to the stuff that you want to," says Berners-Lee.

"The neutrality of the network and its openness is really important."

Kiwis head to Lotusphere

Attending and exhibiting at a conference half way across the world is an expensive business, but is an investment which Crossware says important to Kiwi businesses looking to make a splash overseas.

Crossware is a third party software developer and an IBM reseller in New Zealand. The company was established in 1999 when founder Per Andersen first moved to New Zealand from Denmark.

The company initially developed a CRM system for Lotus deployments, but now also develop an email marketing and signature system for Domino servers, which Andersen says is half of the company's revenue.

Andersen says Crossware have been attending Lotusphere since 2008, and the presence has helped his business grow.

"It costs us around $30,000 for the whole thing, but we've just got to do it," says Andersen.

"Unless you're from Ireland or the UK, there is a lot of hesitancy from large corporations to buy software from New Zealand. Attending these conferences gets us infront of a lot of people and legitimises us."


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