Lotus user ready for step up

Three years after its last major upgrade, Lotus has released Notes and Domino 6 and Auckland company Convergence has already ported its software to run on the new platform.

Three years after its last major upgrade, Lotus has released Notes and Domino 6 and Auckland company Convergence has already ported its software to run on the new platform.

Convergence, a Notes development and support specialist, was part of Vanguard, the release 6 beta testing programme. It has ported its workflow and document management software, AbilitySuite, to the new platform and has several customers looking at upgrading.

One, Douglas Pharmaceuticals, will be upgrading to Notes-Domino 6 in the next three months, says IT manager Paul Tobin.

The company is rolling out a number of document lifecycle management workflows relating to standard operating procedures (SOPs), change requests and action items. It is also using the MailAbility part of the suite for the categorisation and central storage of email.

Douglas Pharmaceuticals runs Notes 5 but will upgrade to get more options for end users and better integration to back end systems. The pharmaceutical company uses AbilitySuite for workflow and document- management and process control.

“It’s good that it [Convergence] is on the ball quicker rather than later,” says Tobin of the quick move to the new platform.

Convergence managing director Mark Presnell says running AbilitySuite on Notes-Domino 6 will give improved productivity through the new products’ enhanced multi-tasking capabilities and better server performance.

He says there is also better integration with other Lotus products, including the instant messaging system Sametime and collaboration software Quickplace, which allows for ad hoc meetings to be easily set up.

“For example, if a document has gone through an organisation and there is an author name attached, by integration with Sametime you will be able to click on that name and instantly initiate a chat with the author.”

Presnell says the way Notes 6 handles email attachments has also been improved. Users gain the ability edit attachments and save the changes without having to detach the document.

“This is significant for a company like Douglas Pharmaceuticals, which works with standard operating procedures, because changes can now be made without having to detach and reattach documents all the time.”

Presnell expects customers to find the transition to release 6 easier than the migration to release 5.

“Our experience in porting to 6 was positive in that there weren’t any hiccups even though we were working with the pre-release candidate. We experienced little or no trouble in the migration and it has given us a great deal of confidence. The upgrade to 5 was significantly more painful. We still have clients on version 4.6 who haven’t gone to 5 because it was so difficult. Upgrading to 6 is much better.”

AbilitySuite modules include AdaptAbility, which creates business process applications, AbilityCentre, which provides access to all business information, IntegrateAbility, which integrates data repositories into the AbilityCentre, MailAbility, which categorises email at creation and integrates it into the AbilityCentre, and DesktopAbility, which saves Word documents directly into AdaptAbility or other Notes databases.

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