26, 1999 -- At Lotusphere Europe 99, IBM's Lotus Development Corp. today announced
a unified messaging initiative that extends the Lotus Domino platform by enabling
customers to access e-mail, voice, and fax data from any device at any time.
In addition, Lotus announced that Domino e-business applications would interact
with online business services and corporate Intranets from any Wireless Access
Protocol (WAP) device. (Source: Lotus Press Release)
be developing a Unified Messaging environment coupled with wireless connectivity
via strategic business alignments with Compaq, Nokia, Erricson, Fujitsu Business
Communications, Dialogic and AVT Corporation. Lotus has recognized the demand
for Unified Messaging (UM) and has established partnerships with corporations
already offering UM and Wireless connectivity. An integrated UM Notes Domino
product has not been released, which raises the question, " Is this truly strategic
partnering or merely a marketing ploy?" Due to the strong 3rd party UM vendor
market offerings for Exchange, Notes and GroupWise, we believe this to be nothing
more than marketing hype (probability 90%). With the forthcoming release of
Microsoft Exchange 2000, which already has demonstrated UM support with such
vendors as Latitude Communications, Lucent, and RightFax; Lotus must promote
Domino as a viable UM product.
Lotus has not
released a Unified Messaging product and the shipping timeframe for a "UM-Ready"
product will not be until the second quarter of 2000 (probability 70%). Lotus
must speed up its attempts to deliver a UM product to market in order to compete
one on one with Microsoft Exchange 2000. Users should take the time to adequately
evaluate the forthcoming 3rd party additions to Domino. Due to the limited time
for the add-on UM products to ship to market, users should be concerned with
the quality and stability of the proposed integration.