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IBM Smart Cloud provides an online database for collaborative working, storage and an area for hosting virtual meetings. Given that it’s part of the IBM mega family there is a definite sense of security and professionalism to proceedings, as well as a decent set of controls and options which should prove useful in the practical elements of online management.
This system provides more than just online conferences and meetings; rather it offers a range of services which help you to keep a track of work, and to access important files and information from where ever you are. It does this through maintaining your work online in a ‘cloud’ server. This means that you can log in and view your files from any machine. However, you can also arrange and host meetings, which include high definition audio and visual options. This is our key concern and we were generally impressed with the quality of the service and its organisation within the user interface.
Whilst not exactly “exciting” or revolutionary, we found the system easy to navigate. Your various apps are separated in a side column for easy access and include key areas such as “communities”, “activities”, “files” and ”meetings”, among others. Hosting a meeting is also simple, whereby a URL is created, which you can simply email to participants or communities within your network.
The biggest failing of IBM Smart Cloud is its distinct lack of clear information regarding prices. Pricing is all but a secret, and enquiries must be made to get a better sense of how well they can serve you, your company and your purse strings. There is a tendency also to redirect you to an IBM representative, or another link to another area of the site, rather than to simply give you the information you require. A searchable FAQ would really help with this issue. That said, at least they do offer live customer support, and information is generally available if you’re willing to hunt for it.
Everything considered, IBM Smart Cloud offers a comprehensive service that is most suited to businesses and business people who need to access their files from a variety of locations. It is also useful if you are interested in holding small, regular meetings with people you know and who are included in your social and business networks. It’s more of an organisational tool for managing your time than it is a prime resource for web conferencing, but it does the job on both accounts.
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