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E-commerce key to Lotus's future

The IBM subsidiary will roll out a host of products targeted at boosting the company's e-commerce presence on the Web, president Jeff Papows says.

BOSTON--This week, Lotus Development will roll out a host of products targeted at boosting the company's e-commerce presence on the Web, something the IBM (IBM) subsidiary's president Jeff Papows believes is key to his company's future.

During a keynote here at Internet Commerce Expo Papows spelled out what he termed the possible dangers that may lay ahead for the growing industry. "If we're not careful we will have too many distributed centers of business which will harm manageability and raise the costs for companies to do e-commerce," he said.

Not coincidentally, Lotus is slated to roll out the final versions of its Domino.Merchant Server Pack 2.0 and Domino Intranets Starter Pack 2, both intended as ways for businesses to launch and manage their own e-commerce initiatives.

Due to ship in two weeks, Domino.Merchant Server Pack 2.0 includes Web faxing technology as well as enhanced site building capabilities provided by SiteCreator 2.0, a template driven building tool. The new version also will include easier tie-ins to third party applications as well.

Intranet Starter Pack 2.0, expected to ship early next month, features the basic core products of Internet mail, calendaring, and directory search and lookup capabilities. Both new packages work with Domino 4.6.1, released last week, the company said.

Detailed pricing for both products will be made available later this week. However, a Lotus spokesman said the Intranet Starter Pack will start at $1,695 a server. And as previously reported the company said the Domino.Merchant package will initially be available for $3,495 for a single processor and $8,995 for a multiprocessor system.

In related news, AT&T said here today that its end-to-end e-commerce package, called the AT&T eCommerce Suite, will ship in May. The package features Web site hosting, secure online transaction services, click-to-call technology, and consulting services. It is priced at $695 a month, which does not include a one-time setup fee of $500 and per-transaction charges.