Intraspect bolsters e-mail's collaborative power

Intraspect Software on Monday introduced the latest version of its namesake collaboration application featuring technology designed to extend collaborative business process capabilities to e-mail.

Intraspect 5.5's C-mail feature allows users to access business applications and workflow within any SMPT-compliant e-mail account. Specifically, users can search and retrieve data, update or forward documents, and contribute to discussions all without leaving e-mail, said Bob Schoettle, vice president of marketing, at Intraspect in Brisbane, California.

"It takes e-mail the next step where you can use e-mail as a way to really initiate and conduct business with your applications and business processes," he said.

Building on e-mail capabilities already available in Intraspect, C-mail aims to boost the productivity and collaborative reach of mobile workers. Using platforms such as RIM BlackBerry, Compaq iPaq, and Handspring Treo, mobile executives can stay connected with the flow of business by kicking off an approval process from the road, for example. No special coding or add-on is needed to support different wireless devices, according to Schoettle.

"The technology [embeds] a command in the body of the e-mail that drives the action within Intraspect to execute a search of any application," he said. "All you do is send an e-mail, and Intraspect knows how to take that and turn [it] into a search."

Deepening the collaborative power of e-mail from data input to process execution will help improve the productivity of mobile workers, according to Matt Cain, senor vice president at Meta Group in Stamford, Connecticut.

"The power of this is the ubiquity of e-mail and the fact that users do spend a lot of time working in e-mail and they understand e-mail," he said. "It is a natural to extend e-mail now to allow users to kick off processes and access data. As long as there is assurance of strict security, this is a great idea."

To address security, Intraspect 5.5 includes session-specific authorization associated with each e-mail query, transaction-specific security, and a pluggable security module.

Other enhancements in Version 5.5 include an expanded search architecture designed to support millions of documents and provide increased scalability for searches under heavy loads, according to Intraspect officials.

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