Summary of Lotusphere Announcements

  • SAP integration, available since 1997, has a bundle of user-oriented enhancements.
  • Mac support is better, for both rich client and browser-based (Firefox, not Safari) access.
  • Major partners--RIM, Nokia, Good, and IntelliSync--support or will support mobile connectivity.
  • Lotus' Sametime instant messaging software has lots of nice new features, such as a slicker user interface, integrated voice chat, and it will run on Mac and Linux. Third parties can write plug-ins, such as soft phones and mapping applications. Lotus is working with leading IM systems--AIM, Google Talk, Yahoo--to provide connectivity. Yes ... there is no MSN support. There will be a new general-purpose IM gateway, SIP-based.
  • Lotus is working with major voice and PBX vendors to provide tight audio integration.
  • IBM continues to invest in IBM Workplace, the Java-based new iteration of most of the Lotus product line. The messaging and collaborative applications (e.g., email, calendar, teamspaces, instant messaging, Web conferencing) have various new features. An XML-based forms routing system is being integrated. The application development system is being improved. There's a growing community of ISVs working with Workplace. Performance is improved. The main client--IBM Workplace Managed Client--is now on general release. Before it was in beta only.
  • The upcoming Hannover Notes client was demonstrated.

There are lots of good new features and improvements here, and just the sort of thing that the Notes/Domino community wants to see; for example, that Lotus is working with mobile messaging vendors, or working with third parties to provide voice integration. Likewise, the demonstration of the upcoming Hannover Client demonstrates progress. All in all, the announcements clearly illustate that Notes/Domino is healthy, and has a healthy future ahead of it.

There was a lot of emphasis on Workplace. This is appropriate, as Lotus needs to drum up sales for this ambitious Web-based rewrite of its product line. It's still at very early stages of market deployment.

All in all, a workmanlike and reassuring set of announcements. Those craving technological titillation should focus on the presence announcements.

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