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New Lotus GM unveils 'Next Gen'

Ambuj Goyal, the newly named general manager of IBM's Lotus Development unit, introduced himself and a new portfolio of open-source Lotus and Domino products to attendees at Lotusphere 2003 in Orlando, Fla., last week.

Goyal, previously general manager of solutions and strategy in the IBM Software Group, gave a rousing keynote talk at the annual Lotus users forum that featured the unveiling of the unit's so-called Next Generation or ''Next Gen'' products, which he said were based on open standards.

Chiding rival Microsoft sometimes by name and sometimes by implication for still using what he termed ''proprietary'' technology, Goyal contended that corporate technology groups are starting to share what IBM executives call the IBM/Lotus vision of open standards.

''Customers want freedom of choice,'' he told the audience, which applauded him loudly.

Goyal contended that IBM is investing $1 billion in research and development of the Lotus Next Gen products, which are based on a variety of standards, including XML, SOAP, WSDL and UDDI, as well as Java. Because it is using open standards technologies, he said, the company also leverages billions of dollars in research that other companies have put into developing those standards.

Goyal pointed to the new Lotus e-mail as well as a new e-learning application as the first products in the Next Gen portfolio. The Next Gen Mail product is designed to increase collaborative business processes and integrates with Domino and other Lotus environments as well as Microsoft Exchange, he said.

He said Next Gen Mail, which also runs on IBM's WebSphere platform, can meet the collaboration demands of businesses seeking to ''integrate business processes with people processes.''

Pledging not to leave Domino users and developers behind, Goyal previewed the newly announced IBM Lotus Domino Toolkit for WebSphere Studio, which is designed to help Domino developers to migrate their skills and applications to J2EE.

This is the first toolkit from Lotus for the WebSphere Studio environment, and in keeping with the new general manager's commitment to open standards, it is built on the Eclipse open-source platform.

For more information on Lotusphere and Lotus Next Gen, please go to http://www.lotus.com/lotusphere2003

About the Author

Rich Seeley is Web Editor for Campus Technology.

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