Two Lotus-related announcements coming out of Interop today... the Globe covers the first:

IBM Corporation is setting up a research center in Cambridge to develop better ways for businesses to use social networking software.

"It's something that can have worldwide impact," said Irene Greif, director of IBM's new Center for Social Software.

The move represents a further commitment by IBM to invest in Massachusetts, where the company already employs about 5,000 workers. An IBM spokeswoman said the company will probably hire additional workers to staff the center, but did not say how many jobs might be created.

The center will be IBM's global center for social-software research, and will host IBM scientists from labs around the world.

It will also include a corporate residency program, where participating businesses will work with IBM to develop new social software applications.

"The expectation is that we'll have people from a variety of industries in here working with us," said Bob Picciano, general manager of IBM's Lotus software business unit, which is based in Cambridge. The center will also collaborate with university students and faculty members and is forming relationships with Harvard University and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.
Addresses a lot of concepts you all have been asking for -- mindshare leadership, academic connection, and linking into line of business decisions.

IBM is also announcing a partnership with iEnterprises today around Lotus Connections.  Watch for both press releases on shortly.

Link: Boston Globe: Cambridge IBM facility to focus on social links >

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