IBM is targeting BlackBerry users in businesses with new software that allows owners of Research in Motion's handsets to access more IBM apps, including its Cognos business intelligence software and Lotus Connections.
It's part of an ongoing trend toward providing mobile access to enterprise applications, and comes two weeks after a similar announcement from SAP, which said it was building a version of its CRM (customer relationship management) software for the device.
“We think this is a trend that is happening in the industry where you’re taking enterprise applications and wanting to carry them around on a handheld as well as get them on laptops,” said Kevin Cavanaugh, vice president of Lotus software for IBM.
The developments are also good for BlackBerry maker Research In Motion, which has a new competitor emerging in the workplace in the form of Apple's iPhone. The iPhone has been popular mostly with consumers so far, but Apple has said it plans to add native support for Microsoft Exchange as its starts to build an enterprise push.
BlackBerry users now have access to IBM's Cognos 8 Go software, a version of the business intelligence software designed for the BlackBerry. IBM completed its acquisition of Cognos earlier this year.
Other IBM software that runs on the device includes Lotus Notes 8.01, the WebSphere portal and dashboard software, and the latest version of Sametime, the instant messaging client. Lotus Connections lets users view blogs and wikis created by co-workers.
Users of the IBM software will need to visit a web page from their Blackberry and download a small application that allows them to access the IBM software.