IBM announced that after two years in development and testing by more than 25,000 businesses around the world, Lotus Notes 8 and Lotus Domino 8 will be generally available today, Friday, August 17. IBM Lotus Notes 8 and IBM Lotus Domino 8 represents the industry's first enterprise collaboration solution largely designed with input from its customers.
Research and insight gained from IBM R&D Laboratories and businesses worldwide indicate overall collaboration has superceded email as the key characteristic of their desktop experience. Consequently, Lotus Notes 8 is designed to transform the inbox into an integrated workspace that brings together email, calendar, instant messaging, office productivity tools and custom applications.
More than 93 percent of Lotus Notes customers are using the most recent two releases, a high adoption rate. Further, annual service subscription renewal rates within Lotus Notes licenses exceed 20 percent of the industry average, indicating broad, fast adoption. "Some people have actually switched from Microsoft Outlook at home to Notes 8 since we showed them how, " said Marc Frasier, IT Mgr, Well Dynamics of New Zealand. "I'm pretty confident that we'll be rolling out 8.0 pretty close to launch date."
Lotus Notes 8 is much more than email, unlike competitive offerings. Lotus Notes 8 integrates work by building in instant messaging and presence awareness, office tools to create and edit documents, presentations and spreadsheets and infusinga business' custom applications, including HelpDesk, CRM, Sales Force, Discussion Forums, Blogs and more.
"Our customers are calling Lotus Notes 8 the 'desktop of the future' because it consolidates all their collaboration tools into one screen," said Michael Rhodin, GM, IBM Lotus Software. "Collaboration is eclipsing email as the killer appwe use daily, whether your virtual desktop is on your desk, in your car, your hand, or your ear. Notes and Domino 8 is your personal portal to the Web 2.0 world."
Lotus Notes 8 organizes key applications neatly in the inbox via a newly expanded sidebar, putting the user's most valuable resources within sight after log on. "Lotus Notes & Domino 8 is a great work setup for having 'everything at your fingertips,’" said Rachael Trudgeon of the New Zealand Ministry of Health. "And the search facility is much improved and valuable."
"The best addition to Lotus Notes 8 is the RSS Reader, I can't remember what I ever did without it," said Darren Creely of Prudential UK, the UK's second biggest insurer. "We are also really excited about the improved search capabilities in Lotus Notes and Domino 8, they really help us save time and add value to our desktop."
Dale Sinstead ofPioneer Petroleums said, "Lotus Notes and Domino 8 provided our users with an attractive new interface packed with new Collaborative Communication tools, exceptional Contact Management and fresh message handling features. The new, multi-platform Notes 8 client is fast becoming a corporate workspace and breathes noticeable efficiencies into every user effort."
"We see a lot of value in the ability to build composite applications within Lotus Notes," said Robert Spaltenstein, Allianz-Suisse. "With the sidebar in Lotus Notes and Domino 8, I have one-click access to the applications and information I need to get the my work done."
Lotus Notes 8 provides instant productivity through immediate access to people, current projects or activities, and information without leaving the inbox. Time can be saved through a new search tool that lets users automatically extend searches beyond email and contacts to Web and hard drive file searches. Face can be saved through the "message recall" feature which enables users to quickly recall an email message after it has been sent by mistake, sparing a user from possible miscommunication. In addition, through the new "conversation" feature, users can view all individual messages in their inbox -- the traditional approach -- or they can now view their emails grouped together in related conversations or threads by subject. Hundreds of emails can be immediately reduced to dozens of conversations.
Building on its leadership in the business social networking, IBM is enabling Notes and Domino customers to add the Activities component of Lotus Connections directly into Notes. Licensed separately, the Activities option enables the worker to share collaborative content such as documents, email, instant messaging and other items related to a project into one logical unit. " I strongly believe Activities have the potential to revolutionize the way people organize their work and collaborate with their team," added Ingo Erdmann of the University of Paderborn. Inspired by IBM Research Labs and developed by Lotus, the Activities feature of the Lotus Notes 8 release uses Web 2.0 technologies such as Backpack, Atom, Tagging, REST, Ajax and JSON to deliver a lightweight, web-based collaboration offering.
Companies of all sizes, industries and technology lineages are embracing ND8 as the most comprehensive and versatile open collaboration platform they've used. Lotus Notes 8 includes the IBM Lotus productivity tools enabling users to create open standards-based versions of spreadsheets, word processing documents, presentations, in addition to supporting many file formats from traditional stand-alone applications. These tools are included at no additional charge with Lotus Notes & Domino 8. The productivity tools support the Open Document Format (ODF), allowing users to import and export supported file formats used by Microsoft Office and save them either in the original format or ODF. "There is a lot more to like about ND8, including integrated Sametime client with full functionality; integrated office productivity tools; and users can restore their own deleted mail," said Michael L Borror of the US Navy Federal Credit Union.
"Giving our clients more productivity tool options for their workforce gives us an edge in the consulting market. I am very excited about creating Notes applications that take advantage of the Lotus productivity tools to introduce a new level of integration unknown in the marketplace," said John Head, Framework Management with PSC Group, an IT consultant.
Another major reason why Lotus Notes customers prefer the new release over competitive offerings is its support for multiple platforms. In fact, Lotus Notes 8 and Domino 8 support a variety of platforms, including Linux and Windows for clients and Windows, Linux, Sun Solaris, AIX and IBM System i for servers. "We plan to migrate to Notes and Domino 8 on Linux in the 4th quarter of 2007 from a Windows -based hosting environment," said Patrick Darke, Director, Global IT Infrastructure of Ansell Healthcare LLC, in Bangkok. "Ansell has about 1900 users on 40 servers -- and with about 50 Domino applications in house, it is well-used for a midsize company."
Built on eclipse.org open standards, Lotus Notes 8 supports businesses' existing applications and extends their life by combining them through mashups with newer applications, resulting in composite applications that can help provide deeper insight into key business functions. For example, on a single screen, developers could link a Domino-based Sales application with a supported Human Resources system running on another platform. "Notes 8 delivers now what many consider only a future prospect: A composite application model for effective creation and use of best-of- breed software components and standard plug-ins," Professor Ludwig W. Nastansky, Chief Executive Officer, Groupware Competence Center, University of Paderborn, Germany.
Lotus Notes 8 is built on the programming model of Lotus Expeditor 6.1.1, which is based on eclipse.org open standards. Lotus Expeditor 6.1.1,enables the construction and deployment of enterprise mashups, also known as composite applications. With the inclusion of the Lotus Expeditor programming model, developers can integrate these same Composite Application capabilities into the Notes user experience. The Lotus Expeditor platform is also separatelylicenseable at additional chargefor customers who want to create their own user experience for line-of-business applications spanning PDA, Smartphone and Desktop systems that optionally connect into existing infrastructure.
Chris Conran, Director, Senior Systems Architect of Australia Bureau of Statistics stated, "As Notes 8 uses the Eclipse technology, this should allow us to develop components (or plugins) that can be deployed both internally on Notes 8 or externally on any other Eclipse platform without requiring proprietary infrastructure. We expect to use a number of open source components for functions such as data visualisation, calculations or editing."
Pricing: Lotus Notes 8 software starts at SRP of $101 per client. For a browser-based alternative, IBM Domino Web Access clients are $73 per user. IBM Lotus Domino server software starts at an SRP of $14.75 per value unit. Lotus Domino Express solutions for small and medium businesses, inclusive of client and server, start at an SRP of $99 per user.
Explore further: Microsoft buys Office collaborator app LiveLoop