Zollar feels bond with Lotus users

Jon Panker

New CEO and President Al Zollar drove home Lotus' common themes, this morning, telling a group 1,200 Notes and Domino administrators, ``We at Lotus understand what you're up against.''

Zollar, who took over Lotus on February 1, formally introduced himself and outlined his plans for the coming year in his keynote address at the inaugural Admin2000 conference in Boston.

``I bring a true insider empathy for the things our customers do day in and day out,'' Zollar said, touching on his early years as an IBM systems engineer and his later work in software development.

Zollar called organizational effectiveness ``the sweet spot for Lotus'' and highlighted four main goals for the company: making groupware fit an e-business model, maintaining Domino reliability and security, keeping support needs a priority, and responding to the challenge Microsoft's newly released operating system, Windows 2000, poses.

``We have got to embrace all of the technologies that come with the Windows 2000 platform, '' Zollar said.

Zollar and Notes product manager Cliff Reeves, who followed him on stage, announced no new initiatives, but did emphasize the importance of two upcoming releases: the Raven knowledge management suite and Domino integration with IBM's WebSphere.

``Knowledge management is the natural successor to groupware and collaboration,'' Reeves said about Raven, which currently is in the design partner phase and is slated for release in the third quarter.

Reeves expects the year-end Domino Release 5.05 to integrate key components of IBM's WebSphere, like Java server pages, and enhance Domino's stance in the ecommerce arena.

Reeves, however, cautioned that Lotus ``can't ignore Microsoft'' as a key e-business player.

The Admin2000 conference, open to Notes and Domino administrators, analysts and architects, is sponsored by The View, and runs through Friday, March 17.

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