Lotus Confirms Pulling Plug on cc:Mail

Lotus Development Corp. plans to pull the plug on its elder messaging product, cc:Mail, later this year, officials confirmed here yesterday.

The Cambridge, Massachusetts-based groupware vendor plans to stop selling cc:Mail at the end of October. In a bid to focus strictly on the Notes/Domino client/server messaging platform, Lotus began de-emphasizing cc:Mail two years ago. Since then, Lotus has been maintaining the LAN-based product but not offering new upgrades. Cc:Mail's installed base reached 15 million during its peak last year.

IBM Corp. also discontinued making enhancements to its OfficeVision and Profs messaging systems after it acquired Lotus in 1995. OfficeVision and Profs had about 6 million seats at their peak.

Lotus shipped Notes and Domino 5.0 last April. Still, officials said only 25 percent of Lotus' installed base of 56 million messaging seats have migrated to the new release. Many of the IT organizations that moved to the new release were cc:Mail users facing year 2000 (Y2K) dating problems in their legacy messaging system.

John Staiger, outsourcing engagement account executive with Computer Sciences Corp. in El Segundo, California, migrated 3,000 cc:Mail customers to Notes/Domino 5.0 for General Dynamics Corp.'s Land Systems Division last December. The consultant said Y2K issues in cc:Mail propelled the tank maker to migrate to Notes/Domino.

"We had to move our customer due to Y2K problems," said Staiger. "It didn't make sense to train users on two user interfaces within 12 calendar months. The cost of training and impact to users exceeded dealing with the technical problems up front."

Lotus will continue to offer technical support for cc:Mail customers until October 2001.

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