One of Lotus' business partners has come up with software to rival the developer's push technology, Domino.Broadcast.
Unipower, a London-based groupware consultancy, has developed an application that takes information from Notes databases and broadcasts it over a corporate intranet using PointCast's I-server. The software, yet to be officially named, was originally written for one of the company's corporate clients in the retail sector.
Lotus denied Unipower's move represented a threat to its business. "Yes, it's a rival," admitted Victor Aberdeen, Domino product manager at Lotus UK, "but that's not a bad thing. It's the same market, but there is enough interest in this market for both of us." He added that several of Lotus' other business partners sell document management systems that compete with Lotus' recently released Domino.Document.
Commenting on the Unipower product, Gary Grant, the company's senior consultant, said: "This tool puts control of broadcasting information into the hands of those who create it. It removes the Webmaster bottleneck as information can be pushed out without the involvement of technical staff."
Grant also highlighted some important differences between the two products.
For example, Unipower uses the corporate channel within the PointCast front-end, whereas Domino.Broadcast uses a Notes channel. It also uses the PointCast front-end, so users will hardly be aware they are using Domino.
Unipower is not sure how best to market the product. "We're not product-oriented; we're a consultancy," said Grant.
He said one possibility would be for Lotus to market the application.
However, Lotus' Aberdeen rejected that option, saying the software was too similar to Domino.Broadcast.
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