Friday, May 14, 2010

Double-down and Save More

I've blogged about the savings you can achieve with several LotusLive offerings, including:
Today I'll focus on the saving you can get with LotusLive Engage.  The LotusLive Engage service includes all of the services of LotusLive Meetings and Connections, and adds to that online forms and charting capabilities.

LotusLive Meetings is $60 a user/year, and LotusLive Connections is $84 a user/year, so a subscription to both for an existing Lotus customer would be $144 a user/year.  But LotusLive Engage is only $120 a user/year for an existing Lotus customer.  So not only do you get all of the savings I've document for Meetings and Connections, but the savings are greater because of the lower licensing fee, PLUS you get the additional capabilities in Engage. To get the form and charting capabilities available in Engage from a premise-deployed solution, you'd have to deploy Lotus Forms Turbo, and those licenses alone are $2,060 for a 20-user pack ($103 a user, plus servers, storage, etc).  So with Engage, the savings keep adding up.

The forms in Engage are extremely easy to create through the browser, and once again, you get the benefit of being able to make these forms available to free guest accounts.
When the forms begin to be submitted, you get access to them in your files repository.  Not only can you view the complete form submitted by a user, but you can also have the data aggregated into charts.  These charts are automatically updated as additional forms are submitted.  It truly is slick.

Two other nifty additions you get with Engage are the integrations of your Meetings with the other services.  First, you can pull files from your LotusLive Files repository to present in your meetings.
I love this.  No need to go find the file in your repository, download it, then upload again to the meeting service.

Another integration is with the Forms service.  This anticipates that after many meetings you may want to get feedback on the quality of the presentation or event test attendees on what was presented.  Easy enough, just click 'Start Survey' when you're done with the meeting.
But this last integration is one I find so smart and incredibly useful.  When you're in an online working meeting, you typically come out of it with a set of action items that attendees need to work on.  Right in the meeting room, I can type what the action item is, and assign it to one of my contacts.
These to-do's automatically get created under an activity in the activities service named with the meeting date and time.  And of course, after the meeting, you now can track and follow-up on these items either in the activities service online, or right through the activities plug-in in your Notes client.

So OK, I guess 'Double-down' isn't really a fair title since Engage is more than the 'Meetings' and 'Connections' parts.  But I think it is clear, if you need both web conferencing and collaboration capabilities, Engage is an extremely cost effective and smartly integrated set of services.

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