Messaging Pipeline | Nemertes: IBM Announcement Moves Lotus Collaboration Deeper Into Real-Time

Messaging Pipeline has some coverage of IBM Real Time adventures by Melanie Truk of Nemertes Research. I though I’d take a look at the highlights of this :

IBM gave customers a first look at the future of its Lotus Notes client this week, and the software bodes well for both the vendor and its users. Code-name ‘Hannover,’ the application has a dramatically new look, but it also boasts some welcome (nay, required) feature changes, too.

Need to read more into what ‘Hannover’ actually is. What I do find funny is that the Microsoft RTC Productgroup uses names of cities as codenames for thier solutions (Vienna, Budapest, Istanbul, etc). I think Microsoft’s Real Time Communication solutions have already continued the journey beyond Hannover …

The key words for IBM are ‘activity-centric collaboration.’ In Hannover, users will get access to collaboration tools regardless of where they’re working within Notes. And the company has caught up with the competition on presence technology, making it pervasive within the application. Whenever Hannover users see a name, they can also see the presence information about the contact, then click to start an IM session, write an e-mail, or call over an IP-enabled phone.

mmm Presence integration / contextual collaboration, where have I seen that before …

‘Activity-centric collaboration’ is IBM’s term, but it boils down to contextual collaboration–a concept Microsoft, Nortel and others have been promoting for some time. The goal in either case is to let users create, manage and share information regardless of type (e-mail, IM, PowerPoint, voice call)–around a particular issue or group.

… oh that’s it, in the whole of Microsoft Office System. So IBM is following Microsoft’s vision on this more or less

Frankly, it’s high time IBM got into the real-time collaboration game. The good news is Hannover promises more content-management capabilities than its competitors, which bodes well for collaborative companies whose employees routinely share documents across projects or teams. Hannover will let them store and manage all the information affiliated with a project in one place (one that is decidedly not the user’s inbox).

ok, so it promises more content management capabilities; lets’s wait and see, afterall the competition is not waiting and doing nothing afterall, it is not 1st half of 2007 yet ..

The new software also supports composite applications, so developers can integrate Lotus Notes with line-of-business application components to solve specific business problems and create role-based tools for employees. And the vendor hasn’t lost sight of its roots: some of the upgrades are e-mail centric, and include new ways to view, sort and filter e-mail.

Wonder how this compares to Microsoft’s initiatives like Information Bridge FrameWork and developments like Mendocino, a joint intiative of SAP and Microsoft ? IBF and Mendocino are true examples of a contextual approach, providing information workers with access to relevant information from backend systems directly in their MS Office environment.

IBM Lotus’ news has the following impacts:

  • For IT executives: IBM users waiting for their version of a real-time communications dashboard should get it soon, and it looks great. The one downside today: no federation with other presence sources, such as Microsoft’s Live Communications Server or AOL.
  • For vendors: IBM has been relatively silent on the presence-driven front. As that situation changes, they will no doubt become more of a threat to both their traditional and non-traditional competitors, especially among their (often loyal) installed base.

  • So seriously lacking federation support, not a strong point for a collaboration solution. Here’s some information of Microsoft’s Live Communications Server 2005 and it’s Federation solutions

    Peter de Haas
    Peter de Haas

    Peter is gedreven door de eindeloze mogelijkheden die technologische vooruitgang biedt. Met een scherp oog voor het herkennen van oplossingen waar anderen slechts problemen zien, is hij een expert in digitale transformaties. Peter zet zich met volle overgave in om individuen, teams en organisaties te begeleiden bij het ontwikkelen van nieuwe vaardigheden en het implementeren van innovatieve oplossingen.

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    8 reacties

    1. I read the Nemeretes article too, and concluded that she misunderstood the Hanover announcement. That is the new Notes client and introduces some new collaborative concepts. Presence awareness is something that IBM has been doing for many years with their Sametime product (far longer than MS with the LCS offering). Notes 6.5 has it all over the place, and the toolkits that ship with it allow you to add it all over the place (through Javam, COM, html etc)

    2. Simon,
      Thanks, I am aware of what Hanover intends to become.
      As for Presence awareness, I would agree with you that Microsoft has not invented this concpet and that SameTime indeed has means to show if someone is online.
      However … have you taken a good look at how presence is integrated throughout the Microsoft collaboration platform ? Have you taken a good look At Microsoft Office Communicator ? Have you seen the way the platform integrates with telephony systems to provide seamless Integrated Communications ?
      Microsoft is defenitly leading in this space when it comes to vision and applying presence.

    3. I’ve read about the telephony integration, but not seen it for real. Can you comment on what s/w or licenses might be required to integrate with the PBX?
      I believe MS are doing what MS does best: Watch the early products to market, throw some products against the walls, see what sticks, perform a u-turn, then pounce by declaring in grand style what their vision is! You have to hand it to them! I “loved” their interesting tie in with the ‘Apprentice’ for the product launch!

    4. Simon,
      I don’t tink you do the Microsoft RTC productgroup justice at all. If you have been following the introductions of Live Communications Server 2005, Office Communicator, the announcements of a lot of telephony vendors and Microsoft around telepphony integrations, etc. Also the enormous amount of relevant and to the point documentation available at productlaunch is proof that Microsoft is not only commited, but leading in this space with regards to vision, excution and gaining mindshare of market analysts. The market share is only a matter of time.
      With regards to telephony integration, you need licenses for LCS 2005 and a specific CAL for Office Communicator to allow for full telephony features.
      Besides the Microsoft licenses you also need to license a 3rd party gateway solution to allow for integration netween the PABX and the LCS environment. There are a large number of PABX solutions with which integration and working solutions are a fact, such as Avaya, ALcatel, Nortel, Siemens, Cisco and also with some pure play IP PBX vendors.
      Let’s be honoust here this goes way beyongd the IBM SameTime announcement

    5. This level of convergence is something I am looking forward to. I hope to implement a merging of these two environments for FMC as we extend collaborative capabilities more and more. I believe the more we presence enable our applications the more benefit we will derive.

    6. Simon,
      Let me know if you need any specific information. I can hook you up with the right people.
      I presented for a large group of FMC IT directors a while back in Amsterdam by the way.

    7. Peter,
      I would be interested in knowing who you presented to and whether it was the same FMC!
      Re the PBX integration, I am just looking for an initial introduction into how it works and what the requirements are. How will it plug in to FMC around the world?

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