Lotus outlines unified messaging, wireless plans

At its Lotusphere Europe 99 event in Berlin last week, Lotus Development outlined its plans for offering Domino customers unified messaging and wireless access.

Lotus is joining up with AVT, a provider of unified messaging software that runs on top of Microsoft's Exchange and Lotus Domino. Lotus and AVT will offer an out-of-the-box unified messaging solution that will include a Compaq server. Pricing for the bundle wasn't announced, but AVT's software by itself is priced between $US100 and $250 per seat.

Lotus also introduced Mobile Services for Domino 1.0, a $3999-per-server add-on to Domino, which will allow users to send and receive messages from mobile devices including pagers and cellular phones.

Mobile Services for Domino will support the emerging Wireless Access Protocol (WAP) standard. Lotus said it would work with Nokia on developing WAP technology.

`Lotus got a little behind in this business when Microsoft [Exchange] was chosen as the platform by some very visible players like Lucent and Active Voice,' said Sara Radicati, president of research firm Radicati Group. By linking up with AVT, Lotus can quickly offer a unified messaging solution that's easy to set up. At the same time, though, Lotus may be antagonising other unified messaging vendors. `That's a risk they always run with their strategy,' Radicati said.

Also at Lotusphere, Lotus announced a knowledge management framework code-named Raven, set to ship in mid-2000. In other Lotusphere news, the company released a new developer tool called Enterprise Solution Builder and said it would ship Domino Release 5 for Linux within 30 days.