ORLANDO, Fla.—IBM continued its push to tell customers that its messaging and collaboration future is Lotus Workplace while pledging continued commitment to its flagship Notes and Domino products at the opening day of the Lotusphere show here Monday.
The companys Lotus Software division unveiled several new products for both the Workplace and Notes and Domino product lines.
The latest version of Notes and Domino, 6.5.1, due later this quarter, includes integrated instant messaging, through a limited-use entitlement for Lotus Instant Messaging; a Lotus Workplace-like user interface that provides access to various collaboration applications from a portal; and a Microsoft Outlook Connector that allows the Outlook client to better access Domino capabilities.
The rest of the opening day announcements focused on the Workplace platform, Lotus next-generation messaging and collaboration product that was first announced at last years Lotusphere.
IBM will package Workplace and its WebSphere Portal into a single solution to be known as the IBM Software Solution for On Demand Workplace. It will bring together Lotus Workplace Messaging, Team Collaboration, Collaborative Learning and Web Content Management, all accessible from the WebSphere Portal interface.
The new solution will be priced at just under $400 per user.
IBM also previewed at the show a new rich client for Lotus Workplace, which the company said will allow IT managers to provision Notes and Microsoft Office capabilities over the Internet; this means they wont have to visit the desktops of every employee to install the client off a CD.
The Eclipse-based technology, which IBM-Lotus executives demonstrated at the morning opening session and pledged to deliver within four months, will support e-mail, instant messaging and team workspaces, as well as office productivity applications such as document creation and management, presentations, and spreadsheets.
Customers will also be able to build their own applications with the new Workplace Builder tool, which can be used by non-technical users without programming backgrounds.
The new rich client will be part of the next release of Workplace, planned for the second quarter.
Lotus General Manager Ambuj Goyal assured customers that their existing Notes and Domino investments will be protected and they will be able to move to Workplace at that own pace.
"Your path is very clear. Whether youre on Notes or Workplace, the roadmap will get you to the same place, which is the next level of productivity—organizational productivity.
"There will be no rip and replace," Goyal said, to applause.