IBM Sept. 30 threw its hat into the iPhone ring with the introduction of iNotes ultralite, a free Web application that lets corporate workers access their Lotus Notes e-mail, calendar and contacts lists through Apple's Safari browser on Apple's iPhone.
However, to use iNotes ultralite, iPhone users must also be Lotus Notes subscribers. They may access the app here as part of the new Lotus Notes software 8.0.2. IBM suggests iPhone users also use IBM's Lotus Mobile Connect virtual private network software along with ultralite to make the sign-on process much easier.
Andy Brunner, principal and owner of IBM business partner ABData Information Technology Consulting and Engineering, vouched for iNotes in a statement, noting that it is "very fast, works well and has the same look and feel of the iPhone user interface."
Access to inotes is the latest feather in iPhone's cap as an enterprise application provider after some critics called the device too consumer-oriented for the enterprise.
Indeed, Microsoft Exchange works on iPhone and now Lotus. What more do corporate road warriors need to consider this when looking for an enterprise device?
This is great for iPhone users who want to leverage Lotus Notes, but I wonder how many of them there are today.
Lotus Notes and Domino adoption has grown to more than 140 million licensed users worldwide, but most of these Lotus Notes mobile users are owners of RIM BlackBerrys, Nokia Symbian devices, maybe even Palm Treos.
Will there be enough call for iNotes on the iPhone? And will an Android developer create a similar application for the T-Mobile G1?
Again, we are stuck in the waiting game. I bet a developer will port Exchange to the G1 before someone writes a Lotus Notes port for the first Android smart phone.
Meanwhile, IBM today also said it is now shipping Lotus Protector for Mail Security, which protects companies from Web-based spam and viruses.
The application includes a "high-performance engine with comprehensive scanning and filtering techniques," designed to deliver a 99.99 percent detection rate as certified by independent tests. The application also blocks incoming and outgoing content based on customer specifications.