Lotus Partners to Pump Up Sametime IM

At Lotusphere, firms unveil tools that complement Sametime, Notes, Domino.

While IBMs Lotus Software division prepares new development initiatives to bring its Domino platform more in line with Java and other IBM technologies at this weeks Lotusphere show in Orlando, Fla., Lotus partners will show off solutions of their own.

DYS Analytics Inc., ActiveBuddy Inc., AvantGo Inc. and Eagle Technology Consultants LLC will each demonstrate new products that complement Lotus offerings.

DYS Analytics, of Wellesley, Mass., which develops traffic management and optimization software for Lotus Domino and Microsoft Corp.s Exchange, will introduce an administration tool for Lotus Sametime instant messaging and e-meetings platform called Collaboration Control.

Collaboration Control provides analyses and detailed reports of Sametimes performance, health and availability, quality of service, usage, and other metrics.

Though not using Collaboration Control yet, Brett van Gelder, an associate director at Ernst & Young Global, responsible for the companys Global Messaging and Collaborative Services team, said such capabilities for Sametime are sorely needed.

"Weve been beating up IBM and Lotus for months about the lack of these features in the core [Sametime] product," said van Gelder, in London.

Ernst & Young Global uses Sametime to connect global employees via e-meetings. Van Gelder said the system is plagued by so-called silent crashes, which can occur when users are disconnected from the server but their screens still indicate they are online.

"One of the things the product should be doing is monitoring the server and giving an indication of its health," van Gelder said. "DYS Analytics will proactively monitor the server so that were aware of issues and can fix them well before the user tells us theres a problem."

In other partner news at the show, ActiveBuddy, of New York, will release HR Agent, an IM-based, self-service tool, compatible with Sametime, for accessing information from human resources systems. Users enter a query in a chat window, and the system automatically gives them answers from the HR systems database.

AvantGo, of Hayward, Calif., will show off Version 5.1 of its Pylon software for remote access to Lotus Notes from wireless devices. This version supports Palm OS 5 ARM devices, Domino and Notes R6, and Lotus iNotes template. New features include support for custom repeating meetings and improved handling of repeating meetings, as well as more secure Internet password setting.

Eagle Technology Consultants, of Atlanta, will announce SpamEraser, a spam-blocking utility that gives users control over which addresses and domains to block.

For its part, IBM will roll out Lotus Contextual Collaboration initiative, which will integrate Domino and WebSphere development environments, according to sources close to Lotus, in Cambridge, Mass. (see story, eWeek, Jan. 20).