IBM has released an update to its software arm Lotus's flagship products aimed at improving messaging and collaboration capacity within or between organisations, while at the same time decreasing costs.
IBM claims Lotus Notes/Domino 6 includes more than 1,000 new and enhanced features including technology designed to consolidate server hardware, reduce disk space use, and minimise network traffic. It also has new information-control features like improved mail archiving, mail journalling and new spam control designed to increase worker productivity and conserve IT resources, the company said.
"Companies of all sizes are looking for a solid, proven solution that will let them do more with less. We are confident we're meeting customer demand and creating opportunities for our business partners with this release," said Duncan Hewett, regional manager for Lotus Software, IBM Australia and New Zealand.
He claimed more than 90 per cent of Lotus Notes and Domino customers had upgraded to Release 5 and said early indications suggested that many customers who were yet to make the jump, especially organisations operating multiple platforms, had made enquiries about going straight to R6.
Thousands of business partners and customers have taken part in early deployment and beta programs, Hewett said. Dialog Information Technology, which has more than 60 consultants specialising in Notes and Domino, has been involved in the testing process for six months.
"There has been a lot of consideration in usability and speed, which has really shown up. It is altogether slicker and we have encountered next to no problems with running software from older versions," said marketing director Bob Tisdall.
Other new software tools featured within the package are Sametime 3, Quickplace 3 and LearningSpace - Virtual Classroom.
Lotus holds a 49 per cent revenue share in the messaging market, according to market analyst IDC, and IBM estimates there will be more than 50 million instant messaging users within two years. Sametime 3 is the first instant messaging and e-meeting solution to offer community-to-community connections with in-built security features.
Quickplace 3 will enable business people to create a workplace specific to a particular project or department without having to approach IT to set it up. It also allows users to see which of their colleagues are online, initiate e-meetings and place team events into personal calendars.
LearningSpace - Virtual Classroom is a new e-learning system designed to help organisations train staff in different geographic locations with minimum fuss.