Project: Interoperability between Microsoft and IBM ‘Clouds’ (iCloud)

Background & Industry Need:_x000D_Analysts view Cloud Computing as an effective strategy for aggressively reducing IT costs[1], an important consideration in today’s challenging economic environment. Cloud Computing is the use of information technology services such as e-mail, document storage, and collaboration software provided by a supplier through the Internet. Cloud Computing minimizes capital expenditures by sharing computer servers and software infrastructure among a large pool of users, taking advantage of economies of scale and enhanced systems utilization. These systems are typically only 10-20% utilized. The supplier that owns the shared IT infrastructure delivers software as a service on a “pay-as-you-go” basis, rather than charging up-front licensing fees and hardware acquisition costs. Customers can take advantage of a cost model with a low initial investment and low incremental investments as system usage grows. The result is a cash flow which closely tracks derived business benefits. Companies such as Google, Amazon,, and, more recently, Microsoft and IBM, have been aggressively promoting Cloud platforms and applications. _x000D_At the end of October 2008, Microsoft launched its ‘Cloud’ platform based on Windows Azure. It includes the Office Live Workspace (OLW), which offers tight integration with the MS Office suite, used by 500M users worldwide [2]. The same week, IBM announced its version of Cloud Computing, Blue Cloud, which includes on-line, hosted e-mail services for Lotus Notes and a BlueHouse service for storing and sharing documents over the Internet [3]. Lotus Notes is IBM’s alternative to Microsoft Outlook. It provides email and personal information management to 40,000 businesses and more than 180M enterprise users _x000D_The business opportunity resides in the fact these two ‘Clouds’ lack even a basic level of interoperability. _x000D_For example, a Notes user cannot drag-and-drop a document from its e-mail into the OLW. Instead, he has to save documents from his e-mail to the desktop, log onto the Microsoft cloud, and then upload his document to OLW. Alternatively, he can use BlueHouse. However, Outlook users would then face the same problem collaborating, using BlueHouse. This lack of platform interoperability will inevitably lead to productivity losses and increasing operating costs, which are the exact problems that Cloud Computing is supposed to solve. In addition, the OLW integrates tightly with the MS Office suite, and doesn’t offer a similar integration with OpenOffice, effectively excluding OpenOffice users from participating in the Microsoft Cloud._x000D_Technical Solution:_x000D_iCloud will enable organizations that use Lotus Notes to reap the benefits of Cloud Computing without technology boundaries, with the flexibility to work online or off-line with business Ps and customers that use non-IBM email clients and non-Microsoft Office suite. Specifically:_x000D_• iCloud will deliver seamless interoperability between Microsoft’s and IBM’s hosted services. Lotus Notes users will be able to access, modify, and publish information on hosted services such as the OLW from the Notes using intuitive, drag-and-drop operations. _x000D_• iCloud will deliver off-line access to the documents and libraries that users need most, without having to save the documents manually. All changes will be synchronized to the Cloud once the user has access to the Internet_x000D_• iCloud will automatically transform Office documents and many other standard formats stored in OLW to authoring formats like OpenOffice and consumer formats like HTML, PDF, Flash open formats, enabling collaboration with non-Office users using only a standard web browser such as Firefox or Internet Explorer Consortium:_x000D_Lod, Israel-based COsoft, will lead the iCloud project, contributing its 15 years experience developing and marketing interoperability software for the Microsoft and IBM platforms. COsoft’s award-winning SharePoint Integrator product suite for integrating MS SharePoint with IBM Lotus Notes, Lotus Sametime, and WebSphere Portal, enables Lotus Notes users to collaborate more effectively using MS Office SharePoint Server and Windows SharePoint Services, which are the basis of the OLW. The company has offices in Israel and California_x000D_Based in Stuttgart, Germany, Coextant, develops software that automates the transformation of document-related content into relational data and deploys the resulting content in a consistent way across platforms. Coextant’s web services software Hyper.Net allows companies to transform content developed in one format into any consumers format and deploy the content into any portal or Web application. The company has customers based throughout Europe and has offices in Germany and Denmark_x000D_Sources:_x000D_[1] _x000D_[2][3]

Acronym iCloud (Reference Number: 4727)
Duration 01/01/2009 - 31/12/2010
Project Topic iCloud will deliver software interoperability and open document format between Microsoft’s and IBM’s proprietary cloud offerings, improving users' experience and reducing operating costs.
Network Eurostars
Call Eurostars Cut-Off 2

Project partner

Number Name Role Country
2 COsoft R&D Ltd. Coordinator Israel
2 Coextant Systems International AG Partner Germany