The next generation of the Lotus Notes client will integrate with the new range of Web 2.0-inspired technologies released with IBM's social software, dubbed Lotus Connections.
Lotus regional executive for Australian and New Zealand Jonathan Stern said Notes 8 will be released later this year and have a "radically improved user interface" built in the open source Eclipse framework.
Lotus Connections has adopted a lot of communication technologies consumers now know as "Web 2.0", like RSS feeds, blogs, and wikis.
Connections is an integrated suite that pulls together Profiles, which is inspired by IBM's BluePages user directory; Dogear, a bookmark-sharing application; Activities, a sophisticated to-do list; Communities, for pulling together groups of users; and Roller, an open source blog server developed within the Apache Software Foundation.
It can be used as a Web-based portal, which sports a lot of Ajax rich client user experience.
Stern said this new way of managing information collaboratively is indicative of the change in the way people are working - less in a corporate hierarchy and more in networks.
Lotus Software program director for social computing software Heidi Votaw said Lotus has been looking at Web 2.0 tools from different aspects to create models which can take advantage of protocols like Atom and RSS.
"If you look at how we work today and contrast it to eight or 10 years ago it's a different world," Votaw said.
Votaw said the five key services in Lotus Connections can be used together or individually.
"Customers can also create mash-ups to feed the information into other systems," she said, adding the REST API is also being used to integrate Connections with BlackBerry which should make its way to early adopters this month.
The Lotus Sametime Collaboration suite also includes integration with Cisco for IP telephony and with Radvision for videoconferencing.
Stern said IBM has saved about $US9,000,000 on telephony and $72,000,000 on travel by using its IP-based collaboration tools.