Lotus and PointCast have announced a product that will allow corporations to selectively broadcast to employees' computers information from the Internet and Lotus Notes repositories, and allow users to interact with the data through Notes applications.
Lotus.Domino.Broadcast, which will be available in the first quarter of 1997, expands the PointCast Network of news and other information to databases managed by Lotus Notes. The new software integrates the Lotus Domino Web interactive application server, Lotus' Domino.Action software for creating interactive Web sites and PointCast's I-Server which enables corporations to broadcast up-to-the-minute company news and information to employees' computer screens over an intranet. When a user's computer is idle, PointCast's SmartScreen technology automatically displays the internal news alerts.
Domino.Broadcast is designed to ease the search for and distribution of information from a variety of sources. Rather than having a worker spend time looking for information on the Internet and passing it along to others in the company, Domino technology can be used to create an agent that would conduct the search, compile the data and transmit it to selected employees.
Companies can also create agents to monitor information and broadcast alerts to employees when circumstances change, such as when a stock rises or falls dramatically. Domino.Broadcast includes intranet broadcasting applications that integrate seamlessly with Domino.Action and link to business applications hosted on the Domino Web server. By using built-in workflow capabilities, Domino users can automatically route proposed alerts through Domino for review prior to broadcast.
Employees can also interact with data displayed in broadcast alerts by clicking on a button to respond, which then sends the information to a Lotus Notes application for processing. In addition to broadcasting company headlines to employees within the corporate intranet, PointCast offers general news, industry information, weather and a variety of specialized information areas, via the PointCast Network's public channels. The PointCast Network public channels are broadcast to viewers for free. PointCast client software can be downloaded for free from http://www.pointcast.com.
In a related announcement, PointCast says it is opening its network to other select partners through a CommunityCast Networks program that lets companies compile and broadcast industry information over business-to- business Internet networks, also known as "extranets."
This will enable users in vertical industries, such as health, government, real estate, education and others, to view detailed industry news broadcasts on their computer screens without having to search through e-mail or company Web sites. CommunityCast Networks, the first of which is expected to be available in the first quarter of 1997, will link to back- end applications so users can take action on news as it happens.
PointCast has also announced its new OneCast solution that will combine international, industry and company news in one broadcast medium. Public news will be delivered over the Internet via the PointCast Network, internal company news delivered over intranets via PointCast I-Server and industry news delivered via business-to-business extranets.
In a separate announcement, PointCast has detailed plans for PointCast Pro-Server which will enable companies to broadcast over an intranet customizable news and other subscription-based information compiled by WavePhore. Companies can receive the information, which includes news and reports from a variety of sources, either over the Internet or through WavePhore's satellite or FM radio wireless packet-switched data broadcast network.
Lotus is on the Web at http://www.lotus.com.