IBM Jan. 18 unveiled the first applications for Apple's iPhone and Google's Android platforms at Lotusphere 2010. Lotus Notes Traveler Companion is a free plug-in that lets iPhone users read their encrypted Lotus Notes e-mail. IBM later this year will also begin offering a Lotus Notes Traveler client for Android, beginning with Google's Nexus One device. Also, RIM said it would sell BlackBerry Client for IBM Lotus Quickr and a new version of the BlackBerry Client for IBM Lotus Connections. RIM also said it was licensing Connections for use among its thousands of employees.
IBM Jan. 18 used its Lotusphere 2010 conference
as the launching pad for several mobile-related announcements, including the
first applications for Apple's iPhone and Google's Android platforms and social
networking apps on RIM-based smartphones.
Big Blue today released
Lotus Notes Traveler Companion
, its first application for the Apple iPhone App
Store. Companion is a free plug-in that lets iPhone users read their encrypted
Lotus Notes e-mail.
The AppShopper Web site describes Companion as such:
"If you want a mobile alternative to reading Domino-encrypted mail on
your laptop, then this is the application for you. Encrypted mail will
appear in your inbox with only a unique, secure link for the Companion
application. After entering your Lotus Notes Traveler password, the
mail will be displayed on your iPhone or iPod Touch, and then upon exit
will leave no decrypted mail on the device -- ensuring the security of
your most sensitive corporate data.
Ed Brill, IBM's director of product management for Lotus software, said
Companion requires a fixpack to Traveler 8.5.1, which includes basic
calendar workflow on the iPhone to let users accept and decline meetings etc.
IBM later this year will also begin offering a Lotus
Notes Traveler client for Android, beginning with Google's Nexus One device, Brill
said. More details on this app will be available later.
IBM will also add support for the Notes Traveler server
component on Linux, a mobile installer that resolves issues with different
Notes/Domino and device version management, and Notes Traveler for IBM Lotus
"Mobile is not an ancillary plot anymore," Alistair
Rennie, IBM's new general manager for Lotus, said during a question and answer
session with the press today. "It has pivoted to a fundamental way people
Indeed, many businesses are looking at the iPhone and
Android-based devices such as the Nexus One, Motorola Droid and myTouch 3G as
enterprise devices. However, it may take a few years before the iPhone and
Android platforms grab the enterprise credibility cultivated by Research in
Motion, maker of the Blackberry mobile devices.
J.Gold Associates' founding analyst Jack Gold said many
enterprise users are getting push back from IT departments who are leery of the
use of iPhones to handle sensitive corporate data and communications.
Gold wonders whether users will find a way around the
iPhone ban in the workplace, forcing IT departments to embrace Apple's platform.
He expects users will force iPhone support in enterprises by using business
applications such as ERP and CRM. Though, unlike with RIM's platform, there are
few enterprise-class iPhone apps, such as IBM's new Lotus Notes Traveler
Companion, from which to choose.
Strong enterprise pedigree is one of the main reasons IBM
continues to deepen its relationship with RIM, which has over a decade of
enterprise mobility under its belt.
One year after RIM
a new BlackBerry client for IBM's Lotus Sametime instant messaging application,
RIM said it would sell BlackBerry Client for IBM Lotus Quickr and a new version
of the BlackBerry Client for IBM Lotus Connections.
Lotus Connections is IBM's social software to
allow employees to connect with their colleagues, while Lotus Quickr is IBM's
team collaboration app. RIM also said it was licensing Connections for use
among its thousands of employees.