Tuesday, February 27, 2024

Lotusphere: IBM Pushes Messaging, Collaboration

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IBM plans to re-enter the Web mail market later this
year with an enterprise-focused e-mail product running on its WebSphere and
DB2 technologies.

The unnamed e-mail product from Mass.-based IBM Lotus Software Group, was announced at
the Lotusphere show in Orlando, where Big Blue took center stage to hype the
messaging and collaboration capabilities in the next generation of Lotus

The biggest news was the launch of the beta version of the
standards-based e-mail software, which was built to complement an existing
Lotus Domino messaging environment or even messaging software from
competitors. Big Blue said the new Java-based product; internally dubbed
‘Next Gen’ would be perfect retail clerks, factory floor and assembly line
employees that receive a lower volume of messages.

Pricing has not been disclosed for the new product, which ships in the
second quarter.

IBM also outlined plans to replace its LearningSpace training software
with a new Lotus
Learning Management System, which is expected to be an end-to-end e-learning platform
that connects to a slew
of other enterprise software like portals, ERP, HRIS and CRM.

The new IBM Lotus Learning Management System will be pushed towards new
customers although the company intends to continue support for
LearningSpace. Additionally, Big Blue plans to roll out a new e-learning
content validation system to simplify the implementation of course content
for enterprise customers. The ‘Ready for IBM Lotus Learning software’, IBM
said it would validate third-party content for compatibility with Lotus
e-learning software.

At Lotusphere, which runs through January 30, IBM also announced new
features within its WebSphere Portal software that touts workplace
collaboration improvements. “[The new capabilities] allow users to interact
with multiple collaboration applications — corporate white pages,
organizational charts, instant messages, team workplaces and virtual
meetings — quickly and efficiently to increase individual and organizational
productivity,” the company said.

For example, the new ‘Collaboration Center’ within the WebSphere portal
lets users search for and find colleagues in an organizational directory
from anywhere in the portal and instantly initiate contact. It also lets
customers integrate, mix and match existing Lotus portfolio capabilities
with other applications in a standards-based environment.

IBM said the new Collaboration Center would also be fitted with new
portlets, including PeopleFinder, an online corporate white pages and
organizational navigation tool; QuickPlace (My Lotus Team Workplaces) that
lets users create, search and manage multiple Team Workplaces in a single
view; and SameTime, the Lotus Web conferencing software that runs online
meetings for corporate customers.

“All three portlets feature built-in Lotus Instant Messaging (SameTime)
capabilities, enabling users to simply click on a name to determine whether
the employee they are trying to locate is online and potentially ready to
collaborate,” IBM said.

Another announcement aimed at Lotus Domino developers saw the release of
the IBM Lotus Domino
Toolkit for WebSphere Studio. The new development tools will include:

  • Custom JSP Tags: Designed to let Domino developers use Domino 6
    custom Java Server Page (JSP) tags to access
    existing Domino data in WebSphere Studio.
  • Reuseable forms, views, agents: Allows developers to view existing
    Lotus Notes databases
    deployed on the Domino server and reuse their forms, views and agents in new
    J2EE applications.
  • Eclipse Open Source platform: Built on the Eclipse open source
    platform and shares a common look and feel of other WebSphere
  • IBM said the new toolkit, which requires both Domino 6 and WebSphere
    Studio V5, would be included for free in a future version of Domino Designer
    6. A beta version of is available for download at here.

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