IBM has launched an effort to extend web 2.0 to the corporate world by unveiling team collaboration, social computing and web mashup development tools.

The new Quickr 8, Lotus Connections and Info 2.0 products are part of IBM's new "Web 2.0 Goes to Work" initiative, which aims to expand business use of popular consumer technologies like blogs, wikis and social networks, said Rod Smith, vice president of emerging technologies.

Web 2.0 technology can help workers more easily brainstorm and collaborate with one another and with corporate partners and customers, explained Smith.

The Quickr 8 team collaboration tool helps companies use blogs, wikis and team space templates to share business documents and access libraries through plug-ins, IBM said.

The Lotus Connections social networking tool set includes web 2.0 components like bookmarking, IBM said.

It described Info 2.0 as a suite of tools for customising and linking web and corporate data into mashups.

Oliver Young, an analyst at Forrester Research, said that the Quickr and Connections tools will be welcomed in companies where employees bring web 2.0 technologies into work to "collaborate in ways they can at home".

However, he cautioned that calculating a return on investment will be difficult. "There are only rare cases where you can say, 'This is how much time it saved,' or, 'This is exactly how many systems we were able to sunset’.”