IBM announced today the beta release of Lotus Notes and Domino 8.5.1 collaboration software, including plans to support Microsoft Exchange ActiveSync in version 8.5.1 of Lotus Notes Traveler. This capability will extend Lotus Domino automatic synching capabilities for e-mail and calendaring tools to the Apple iPhone.
"Providing Exchange ActiveSync support via the Lotus Notes Traveler software is part of IBM's pledge to provide enterprises the choice and flexibility to select the mobile devices and carriers that best suit their needs," said Kevin Cavanaugh, vice president, Messaging and Collaboration. "This will allow employees 'on the go' to work smarter."
"I look forward to Exchange ActiveSync support," said Jim Marshall, director of Global Architecture for Johnson Controls, Inc., a Lotus Notes customer. "Johnson Controls health care and education industry customers use Apple platforms, and we've begun to officially provide application support on those. Mobile messaging is considered a critical application," he said.
Although iPhone users can already access Notes e-mail via IBM Lotus iNotes ultra-light mode, the Exchange ActiveSync support will mean push access to the popular software including the ability to view Notes mail, calendar, and contacts data when not connected on the iPhone. "I look forward to Exchange ActiveSync support because it will allow me to use my iPhone for (Notes) contacts and calendar without having to be on-line," said Prof. Ludwig Nastansky at the University of Padeborn in Germany.
IBM Lotus Notes Traveler software enables wireless push replication of Lotus Notes e-mail, calendaring, and personal information management (PIM) data on select smart phones. This capability will expand the reach of Lotus Notes and Domino software significantly because it will make it easier to use on a wider variety of devices.
"Cardiff University supports a diverse user base across multiple operating systems. Many of our academic staff use Apple Macintosh products extensively and we already have a significant and growing number of iPhone users. Exchange ActiveSync support will allow us to deploy Notes to these iPhone users, allowing us to cater for the diverse mobile needs of our staff and students," said Dr. R.K. Morgan, applications team leader, Information Services, Cardiff University in the UK.
IBM designed Lotus Notes 8.5.1 with agile development practices using social media such as blogs and Twitter to collect and make hundreds of refinements suggested by people who want to work smarter. They include enhancements to the way people edit messages, work with widgets and calendars, and new options for customizing search. These enhancements allow people to work smarter by spending more time on finding, creating and sharing valuable information and less time modifying the way that it is presented, according to IBM.
In addition, this beta version also incorporates the new 1.3 version of IBM's Lotus Symphony document, spreadsheet, and presentation software, and brings IBM XPages developer technology to the Lotus Notes client for off-line use. To download Lotus Symphony at no charge visit http://symphony.lotus.com
IBM Business partners who make IT products that work with Notes are also looking forward to the new technology. "BE Systems is very excited to get its hands on the latest beta version of Lotus Notes Traveler. With new features like Exchange ActiveSync support, mobile device compatibility is opened up like never before. This benefits our business and the business of the mobile user," said Paul Mooney, a senior executive at IBM Business Partner BE Systems.
In recent months, leading mobile device producers Nokia and Samsung announced support for IBM Lotus Notes Traveler software enabling more than a billion smart phone customers around the world to manage their Lotus Notes e-mail, calendars and address books anytime, anywhere. In addition, IBM has announced engagement with wireless carriers such as AT&T, Sprint, Verizon Wireless, and Orange in order to drive towards meeting the needs of an increasing wireless workforce. IBM Lotus Notes and Domino 8.5.1 will be required to support this capability. For more information visit www.ibm.com/software/lotus/notesanddomino. IBM Lotus software supports BlackBerry Enterprise Server version 5.0 which was announced last week.
To test drive IBM Lotus Notes 8.5.1 software starting on May 15, visit http://greenhouse.lotus.com.