As, the new version 6.5 of Notes/Domino Workplace is designed to allow office workers to get more done within the e-mail windows usually running on their PCs.
The upgrade includes messaging functions that are based on Big Blue's Sametime software. Office workers can see whether a colleague is available online and exchange messages within the same application window they use to check e-mail and calendar information.
IBM is accompanying the new messaging and collaboration features with a deal on related products. From Oct. 1 to Dec. 31, Lotus 6.5 customers with active maintenance agreements can receive a free 20-license pack for IBM Lotus Instant Messaging and a 20-user license of WebSphere Portal Express, IBM's collaboration software for small and midsize businesses.
IBM is amid a broad effort to, focusing on integrating existing products and developing new software packages to expand Lotus' range. The company earlier this year introduced a intended to compete with Microsoft Office and unveiled new Lotus products .
Notes 6.5 has new tools for organizing messages, including improved spam filters and the ability to tag messages that require follow-up action. The new Notes interface will include a search window that can scour corporate networks or the Web, using existing search engines as defined by the user. There's also a "launcher" window for one-click access to frequently used applications, Web sites, documents or databases.
"In today's corporate environment, businesses want their messaging solution to go beyond just e-mail," Ken Bisconti, a vice president in IBM's Lotus division, said in a statement. "They want their messaging solution to be part of a larger collaborative platform that will help drive down costs and enhance employee productivity."
Lotus Notes 6.5 will be available Sept. 30, with licenses starting at $89.82 per user.