Tech Industry

Lotus rolls out Organizer 5.0

The firm readies the latest version of its personal information manager and plans a new campaign intended to retain its cc:Mail customer base.

Lotus Development this month will roll out the latest version of its personal information manager and launch a new campaign intended to retain its cc:Mail customer base.

Lotus Organizer 5.0 represents a break from the company's previous personal information manager PIM strategy that focused on the enterprise Lotus Notes user.

Organizer 5.0 includes further synchronization with popular personal digital assistants, like 3Com's Pilot, PalmPilot and Palm III and the IBM WorkPad. It also includes new UI enhancements, support for free-form text, and multiple calendar views that show up to 15 coworkers' schedules at a time.

Lotus will also provide free trial versions of PDA synchronization software from the Organizer Web site for use with any Microsoft Windows CE handheld devices. After the trial period ends, customers have the option of purchasing the Windows CE-compatible software for $24.95.

The new Lotus PIM device supports the iCalendar standard, which allows users to share schedule information over the Web; supports up to 20 telephone numbers and 6 addresses per contact; and has a new contact history view that lets users see past contact information linked to a particular person.

"We targeted the manual planner user, those who, for some reason or another has yet to move to digital PIMs...and current PIM users as well as Internet scheduling and PDA users," said Arthur Gehring, senior marketing manager.

Organizer 5.0 requires a 486/50 or higher IBM PC or compatible processor, with Microsoft Windows 95, 98, or NT 4.0, and a minimum of 8 MB RAM, the company said. It is priced at $79, with a $20 rebate for current users and users of competitive products, Lotus said.

Lotus is also launching a new crusade to retain its cc:Mail user base that includes a new advertising campaign, training seminars, direct mail pieces, and a Web-based demand generation program. These initiatives are designed to attract more than 10,000 decision makers who have a buying influence for millions of cc:Mail users.

The seminars will provide the users with a look at the upgrade choices available to cc:Mail users; upgrades to the currently shipping cc:Mail Desktop for Windows 6.3; the newest cc:Mail multimode client which runs natively on a Lotus Domino Server; and upgrades to Lotus Domino Mail Server with the Lotus Notes messaging client.