IBM’s Lotus division is talking to local online service providers, including ISPs and telcos, about offering Domino applications through an application service provider mode.
Domino is Lotus' messaging and Web application software. Lotus says ASP provision of its products has been thriving for some time in the US and in Australia, where Telstra is a major provider in the market.
As with many companies taking the ASP route, Lotus perceives it as a way to get increased penetration into the small and medium-sized enterprise market – those companies that do not have the IT expertise to support an in-house implementation.
Corporate messaging applications to date have only entered the “very top end” of the SME space, says local Lotus sales manager Greg Wagstaff.
Among the applications likely to be most successful in an ASP environment are Quickplace, which enables the temporary creation of a team workspace on the Web, and Sametime, which allows real-time discussion. Further development of this genre of application is due to be announced next month, including audio and video communication.
Lotus has an ASP solution pack, designed to assist providers to set up an ASP service for Lotus applications, handling necessary aspects from the partitioning of multiple instances of the application through to registration and billing of users.
Wagstaff is not willing to put any date on the arrival of Lotus applications in ASP mode in New Zealand, but indicates that it will be in the near future.