IBM is offering Lotus Workplace Messaging web-based software to extend messaging to so-called 'deskless' workers.
The company has identified demand for a low-price, intuitive package (therefore requiring no training to use) that handles low message volumes.
"This is a secure, robust and scalable email solution at less than $1 per user per month," said Ambuj Goyal, general manager of Lotus at the IBM software group, speaking at the IBM Software Symposium in Munich.
He said that, contrary to what some analysts had said, email was not a saturated market, with employees that lack a dedicated workplace - such as factory floor staff and retail clerks - not having email access.
"We think 50 per cent of the market is unaddressed. Half of employees do not have an email address. This could be used for shared kiosks," Goyal added.
Release 1.0, available now, works within a portal window, shipping with iFrame portal applications for IBM WebSphere Portal 4.1.
It runs on the IBM WebSphere internet infrastructure software, uses DB2 universal database and supports LDAP 3 directory standard to integrate with Lotus Domino.
The package will be available integrated with WebSphere 5.0 in the second part of the year, adding mail, personal information management, calendar, address book portlets and user personalisation.
DaimlerChrysler, which has 170,000 Lotus Notes users, is evaluating Lotus Workplace Messaging for the remainder of its workers.
"The requirements of these user groups are different regarding web access, portal integration, offline usage and calendar," said Frieder Kornas, senior manager of e-collaboration at DaimlerChrysler, in a statement.
"Therefore, Lotus Workplace Messaging could be a cost-effective solution to cover these requirements."
IBM identified a further potential benefit for employers - the ability to provide documents such as human resources memos and security bulletins by email to all employees instead of needing to use paper communication for some of them.
Suggested US retail pricing is $29 for a three-year licence per user. European pricing is not yet available.
'Son of Concorde': Lockheed Martin and NASA start production of supersonic X-59 plane that would create a sound 'as loud as closing a car door'
When completed, the plane will travel at a speed of 1,512 kilometres per hour
Some parts of Atacama have not received rainfall for 500 years - but a sudden deluge of water upset the Desert's delicate biological balance
Spitzer Space Telescope could not spot Oumuamua, suggesting that it is actually pretty small
Greenland crater one of the 25 largest impact craters on Earth