IBM will use this year's annual Lotusphere users' conference to deliver a pre-release beta version of Lotus Notes and Domino 6, and reveal plans to re-architect its technology to run on top of Java enterprise standards.
A hosted version of the company's Sametime instant messaging server will also be demonstrated at the event.
Scott Cooper, vice president of Lotus Solutions IBM Software Group, said that the company has used significant amounts of beta customer input and feedback in developing Lotus Notes and Domino 6 to help users lower the total cost of ownership.
"We're going to talk over and over again around very near-term hard return on investment," said Cooper.
New features include improved mobility, such as roaming user and multi-user support, and better wireless access through PDAs, pagers and web-enabled mobile phones.
The pre-release version, codenamed Rnext, will be available in 30 days and the final product is scheduled to ship in the third quarter.
Cooper explained that Lotus will re-architect its software to support Java 2 Enterprise Edition (J2EE) which will let companies mix and match mail and messaging applications with other server-side, Java-based applications and servers.
Version 6 of the Lotus products will feature initial support for J2EE and full support will be built into future versions.
IBM also announced its new licensing, deployment and customisation services for Sametime, the company's instant messaging and e-meeting software.
The online service will be launched in the summer, lowering costs and allowing much quicker deployments, the company said.
The service will allow customers to rent a customisable version of Sametime hosted by IBM Global Services.
Lotus will also begin to sell the Notes Buddy utility, which has been designed to work with Notes and internet standard Post Office Protocol email systems. The utility allows users to read Notes email through Sametime.
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