GlaxoSmithKline to standardise on Notes e-mail

Following similar announcements from newly merged companies, including ExxonMobil Corp., GlaxoSmithKline PLC (GSK) has decided to standardise its e-mail and collaboration system on Lotus Development Corp.'s Domino and Notes.

The London-based pharmaceutical company informed its employees worldwide of the migration to Notes in a Feb. 28 memo.

"[The corporate executive team] has endorsed IT's recommendation that the best way to achieve a single e-mail system for GSK that also encourages collaborative working is to adopt Lotus Notes. This decision also recognizes the substantial number of GSK [research and development] databases that already exist in Notes and are essential to ongoing drug discovery and development programs," the memo stated. "A common [e-mail] approach to these is essential in a modern global organization."

GlaxoSmithKline spokesman Philip Connolly said the company's heavy investment in Notes was a primary factor in the decision.

The decision to standardize came in February, two months after the formal merger of Philadelphia-based SmithKline Beecham PLC and London-based Glaxo Wellcome PLC.

The company has more than 100,000 employees worldwide. While SmithKline Beecham has substantially migrated to Notes, there are still a few different e-mail clients in use at Glaxo Wellcome.

"The possibility of continuing with some sort of hybrid between Microsoft Outlook and Notes was considered but discarded as impracticable," the memo said. "Instead, Lotus Notes Release 5 will be implemented throughout GSK, and Notes Version 4 [currently the predominant e-mail system at SmithKline Beecham], cc:Mail and Outlook will be retired. The implementation team is being set up and hopes to complete the initial planning phase by July 2001."

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