Lotus CEO Al Zollar is confident that Domino will continue to grow, despite the much-anticipated release of Microsoft's Exchange 2000. He also emphasized a commitment to the Notes client, even as the Notes browser version, iNotes, gains in popularity. SearchDomino News Editor Jon Panker recently asked him about some of Lotus' top initiatives:
SearchDomino: What do you want people to think of when they think of Lotus?
Zollar: That Lotus is the brand that helps organizations of all sizes and shapes leverage their know-how, to speed their activities in the new economy. I want people to recognize us as the market leader in solutions for messaging and collaboration, e-Learning, and knowledge management. I want us to be seen as the driving force for developing and integrating technologies that facilitate digital interactions between humans.
SearchDomino: Do you see potential problems with Microsoft's Exchange 2000 opening the door for Domino? How many shops do you expect will take advantage of the Super.Move Acceleration Packs?
Zollar: Regardless of what is contained in Microsoft's Exchange 2000, we anticipate continued strong sales of Lotus Domino based on its superior functionality, scalability, reliability and availability. As customers continue to build increasingly sophisticated Web solutions, more and more customers are using Lotus' Super.Move program as a quick and simple way to leverage the collaborative commerce capabilities of Domino. We expect that number to continue to go up before, during and after Microsoft's launch of Exchange 2000.
SearchDomino: What's the early buzz you're hearing from shops currently testing Raven? Is it still on schedule for a release this fall?
Zollar: We've had great early reports about the KM Suite code-named Raven and will have more news within the next few months. And yes, Raven is still on target for delivery later this year.
SearchDomino: Are you having trouble selling companies on the concept of knowledge management?
Zollar: No, when we articulate the practical value of our technologies we are discovering incredible demand particularly among those large enterprises that have been early adopters of our initial KM solutions. Their requests that we continue to innovate new capabilities, while integrating all existing capabilities led to the creation, and soon the shipment, of Raven.
SearchDomino: Are there any long term plans to eventually phase out the Notes client and move all Notes controls into a browser?
Zollar: No. We have more than 60 million Notes users around the world now, and they have come to rely on the full collaborative and workflow functionality they get from the Notes client. While the browser version of the client (iNotes) is an option that appeals to segments of our customer base, it will not be a full replacement for everything that the full Notes client does.
SearchDomino: Does Lotus plan to dive further into the ASP market, especially now that Microsoft is committed to it? If so, what do you envision the future holding for Lotus and ASPs?
Zollar: Yes. We have some very exciting news on that front, which, unfortunately, I won't be able to share with you for another month or so.
Editor's Note: In mid-September, Lotus is expected to introduce a version of Notes for ASPs and unveil agreements with several partners to run Notes on IBM's or the partners' data centers. Stay tuned for SearchDomino.com's coverage on this.