Liu Qiumei, general manager of Lotus Software of IBM (IBM) China, says that IBM will soon enter the instant communications sector.

He says the company will launch the first type of community interaction software called Lotus Connections targeted at business communities within this year. Liu says that the new software for the business community, the gateway, email, and unified communications are all related to Lotus's software.

Different form QQ and MSN, IBM's new software is an open platform that targets an enterprise's internal systems. Analysts interviewed in local Chinese media say that community interaction software will be an important part of enterprises' internal coordination frameworks and the demand for this type of software doubled between 2005 and 2006.

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