Kubi Continues E-mail Collaboration Quest

Company introduces server version of its Kubi e-mail workspace software and updates client application.

Kubi Software Inc. on Tuesday launched a new version of its software for adding collaboration workspaces to enterprise e-mail clients, as well as a new server product.

Kubi, of Lincoln, Mass., provides collaboration software that runs within Microsoft Outlook or IBM Lotus Notes. It creates project workspaces, which its calls "Kubi Spaces," where participants can share documents and manage tasks that appear within the e-mail clients.

With the new Kubi Client 1.1, Kubi added greater customization of the home view of its collaborative workspaces, better integration with the calendars in Outlook and Notes, and more flexibility in who can lead a project space.

The increased calendar integration, for example, allows users to view an aggregated view of regular Outlook or Notes appointments along with events from their Kubi workspaces, said Nina McIntyre, vice president of marketing at Kubi. The latest version also allows a leader of a workspace to transfer leadership or add additional leaders.

"Were just leveraging everything you already know about e-mail," McIntyre said. "Kubi is an important solution to the pain of trying to collaborate in e-mail."

Along with the client software upgrade, Kubi announced the availability of Kubi Server, first detailed in June. With the server product, enterprises can centrally manage Kubi Spaces. It provides storage, synchronization and replication of workspaces and can run on existing or dedicated Microsoft Exchange or Lotus Domino servers.

To date, Kubi has run only in a client mode, where collaborators connect peer-to-peer and data is replicated across machines, McIntyre said. Enterprises can choose whether to deploy Kubi in the client mode or with the server product.

"A number of organizations dont want local storage and individual users machines," McIntyre said.

With the server product, enterprises can now offer Web-based access to Kubi workspaces leveraging Exchange or Domino, something not available in the client-only mode.

Kubi Client 1.1 requires Windows XP, 2000 or 98 SE and is compatible with Microsoft Outlook 2003, 2002 or 2000 as well as Lotus Notes 6.01 and higher and Lotus Notes 5.0.6a and higher. Pricing for the client software starts at $5,000 for as many as 25 users.

Kubi Server requires Microsoft Windows 2000 Server and either Microsoft Exchange 2000 Server or IBM Lotus Domino (6.01 and higher or 5.06a and higher). For the server product, pricing begins at $5,000 for 100 users and requires separate Kubi Client licenses.

Kubi Client also is available for a 30-day trial when someone outside an organization is invited to participate in a project workspace. Those guests can use the full functionality during the trial, but afterwards they are limited to the specific workspace to which they were invited unless they purchase a full license, Kubi officials said.

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