Lotus Takes the Plunge

Lotus is talking about cool solutions with hot technology.  Albert Brooks opened the General Session advising a plunge into the pool of knowledge.  Why water?  Water is powerful and crystal clear and symbolizes connectivity.  The Pool of Knowledge is the theme for this year’s Lotusphere.

Lotus’ products have continued to raise the bar for openness.  They certainly lead in I-net client innovation, standards adoption, multi-function integration and  usability/UI integration.  They also continue to lead in mobile computing.  Their upcoming products, code-named ‘Lookout’ and ‘Maui’ will continue this trend, it would appear.

Two years ago at Lotusphere, the integrated browser in Notes was the hot thing.  Last year, the ability to select a browser for hotlinks was introduced.  This year, since Microsoft has componentized the IE browser, we can take the browser and bring it into the Notes environment.  This is way cooler than plugins.  On the server side, an IBM System/390 running Domino can support 10,000 simultaneous connections.

Lotus shared their plans for Java components (similar to the existing Active-X) components.    They also showed off how the Java components are truly cross-platform, using an IBM network computer to prove the point.

In short, Domino looked hot.  The sustaining power of Notes is on the server side and Notes object store.   But as Microsoft and Netscape hurry to create client/server groupware, Lotus can rest assuredly on its decade of experience in the area.  Microsoft and Netscape are claiming innovation through their adoption of protocols; but protocols are not features  True innovation comes from understanding what customers want and building that set of services.  This is where Notes is truly at its best.

Notes itself has become a stunningly successful integrator for information from a broad variety of sources.  Spanning time and place.  Handling information from persistent to the ephemeral.  Various delivery options from real-time to deferred.  Tools that take into account the information overload realities of the current information environment, television, telephone, voice mail, e-mail, etc.

Jonathan B. Spira is the CEO and Chief Analyst at Basex.  This article originally appeared in the Basex Online Journal of Industry and Commerce (BOJIC).

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