Building on its commitment to openness and choice in computing, IBM last week announced it will extend the reach of its upcoming Lotus Sametime 7.5 collaboration platform - the industry's number one instant messaging software for enterprise customers - by providing integration with Microsoft Outlook, Office and SharePoint applications. In addition, Sametime 7.5 will offer direct connectivity to mobile devices from RIM and Nokia, as well as Microsoft Windows Mobile devices.
With Lotus Sametime 7.5, Microsoft users have easy access to a full set of instant messaging and Web conferencing capabilities, without requiring costly upgrades. Within Microsoft word processing, spreadsheet and presentation applications, Lotus Sametime customers will be able to take advantage of Lotus Sametime 7.5 features, such as sending an instant message, initiating a call, sharing an application or launching a Web conference. Within Microsoft E-Mail inboxes, users will be able to view online presence information, schedule Web conferences from their calendars and with a click, access full Lotus Sametime capabilities, including Web conferencing.
"With today's announcement, we are giving Microsoft customers the choice
to join the open standards world and avoid being locked into closed
solutions," said Michael Rhodin, general manager, Workplace, Portal and
Collaboration Products. "Whether it is advancing a business decision via
instant polling in a Web conference or simplifying international calling by
using the Sametime voice over IP click-to-call features, Lotus Sametime is
the platform of choice for instant collaboration."
IBM is empowering a new class of on-the-go employees with out-of-the-box mobile support for Lotus Sametime. Business users will now be able to access the full functionality of Lotus Sametime to see who is available and where they are located, enabling quick communication through instant messages and initiating voice chats directly from their mobile devices.
The only major real-time collaboration platform built on an Eclipse framework, Lotus Sametime 7.5 will give thousands of IBM Business Partners and developers access to an open programming model, which will spur the creation and use of business applications in a real-time collaborative environment. Users will be able to take advantage of plug-ins and Web 2.0 technologies such as mashups to create new applications on the fly. For example, a Lotus Sametime "mashup" could combine the location and status of team members on a contact list and display it on an online map.
Lotus Sametime has been the industry's leading integrated instant messaging and "on premise" Web conferencing solution for more than seven years. Lotus Sametime 7.5 Web conferencing features improved application sharing and enhanced whiteboard performance, fast entry to Web conferences and an "auto-reconnect" capability, should there be any temporary disruptions in connectivity during the course of a meeting.
Additional features of Lotus Sametime include:
- No charge access to public instant messaging networks: Lotus Sametime 7.5 will offer access to leading public instant messaging vendors at no additional cost.
- Audio/Video Integration: Lotus Sametime 7.5 will offer integration with leading audio and video providers, enabling features like "click to call" and integrated audio with phone and video conferences. Working with IBM in this area are Avaya, Avistar, Cisco, Nortel, Siemens, Premiere Global Services, Polycom and Tandberg.
- Location-based Awareness: Lotus Sametime 7.5 is the only enterprise instant messaging platform to offer advanced location awareness.
- Multiple person Voice over IP calls: Lotus Sametime 7.5 is the only enterprise instant messaging platform to offer voice over IP calls between multiple users.
- Flexible support for multiple platforms and operating systems: The Lotus Sametime client runs on Windows, Mac, Linux and on Windows, AIX and IBM System i servers.
Lotus Sametime 7.5 is expected to be available in the third quarter of 2006. Mobile support for Lotus Sametime is expected to support RIM BlackBerry, Nokia and Windows Mobile devices with expected availability in the fourth quarter of 2006. Integration with Microsoft SharePoint, Outlook 2000 and above and Office XP and above is expected at the beginning of 2007.
Unfortunately, this announcement of Windows Mobile support seems not to include push E-Mail support for Windows Mobile and Lotus Notes but you still need 3rd party
sotware support to enabled the sync of Windows Mobile devices with the Lotus Notes environment.
Cheers ~ Arne