AS/400 Impresses at LotuSphere99

To get a sense of the impact the AS/400 is having on the Lotus Domino community, one has to look no further than LotuSphere99. Domino native on the AS/400 has been a successful initiative for both IBM and Lotus over the past year, and this success was reflected in both the prevalence of AS/400 vendors at LotuSphere99 and breadth of Domino solutions being developed to run on that platform.

"More and more people at this year's [LotuSphere] are both knowledgeable and interested in the AS/400," says Kelly Schmotzer, worldwide groupware marketing segment manager.

IBM introduced Domino native on the AS/400 less than 11 months ago, according to Schmotzer. In that time, IBM has sold $500 million dollars in AS/400 hardware with Domino running native on it, and more than 20,000 licenses of Domino on the AS/400, she says.

Twenty-five percent of the customers running Domino native on the AS/400 are new to the AS/400 market, according to Schmotzer. "This shows us that Domino on the AS/400 appeals to users outside the existing AS/400 base," she says, adding that Domino on the AS/400 has outsold the combined number of licenses sold for Domino on the AIX, HP-UX and Sun Solaris platforms.

"IBM's shipping of Domino on the AS/400 gives Lotus a shoe-in to AS/400 accounts," agrees Wayne Janzen, manufacturing/ERP manager of industry marketing for Lotus Development Corp. (Cambridge, Mass.). Domino's core strengths are data replication, data integration and application development, he adds. "These combined strengths serve to set Domino apart from competing products that perform, for example, strictly messaging or application development functions."

Schmotzer sees two primary benefits to running Domino native on the AS/400: a larger potential database and LPAR, or logical partitioning. "LPAR provides for the dividing of the processor, enabling users to run and test different versions of Domino on the same AS/400, for example," she says.

Several AS/400 application developers and service providers used LotuSphere99 as venue to promote the integration of their products with Domino on the AS/400.

Lawson Software (Minneapolis) announced the full integration of its Insight Business Management System with Domino on the AS/400, Unix and NT platforms. Version 7.0 of Insight -- previously known as Lawson Enterprise/400 -- is compatible with Release 4.62 and later of Domino, including the new R5.This integration is scheduled for commercial availability on March 31, 1999, according to Dean Hager, Lawson's director of marketing & strategic initiatives for its AS/400 unit.

Lawson also announced a series of strategic partnerships made possible by the company's expanded relationship with Lotus. These new Lotus Development Corp. partners -- which include SkillSet Software Inc. (Pleasonton, Calif.), Binary Tree Inc. (New York), ONEstone Information Technologies Inc. (Boston), Relavis Corp. (New York) and Total Solutions Group Inc. (Minneapolis) -- provide Lawson customers with Domino-based solutions in the areas of human resources, e-commerce, workflow, customer relationship management (CRM) and knowledge management.

SkillSet Software, in particular, announced at LotuSphere Version 2.0 of its Employment Exchange product, designed to automate enterprise recruiting and hiring processes. "Hiring involves the whole enterprise, not just a single department," says Clyde Gillard, SkillSet's VP of emerging markets and technologies. "It's important to get different areas of the company involved with the hiring process."

The ability to run Domino native on the AS/400 encouraged SkillSet to bring its products to that platform. Though Lotus Notes is "hardware agnostic," Gillard points out, "The nice thing about the AS/400 is IBM and Lotus have done the hard work in porting Domino to that platform."

Lotus Premium Partner JPH International (Waterloo, Ontario) announced at LotuSphere that its Respond! suite of CRM software is now certified on OS/400, as well as NT, S/390 and AIX. Respond! is expected to be most popular in the AS/400 market for utility companies looking to tighten the relationship between themselves and their customers, according to Graeme Somerville, JPH's director of marketing.

Another AS/400 application developer making the most of LotuSphere to grab attention for its value-added software and services was Internoded Inc. (Cambridge, Mass.). Internoded announced HyperTrac for Internet Security 3.0, a Web registration and user group management utility for Domino. "HyperTrac allows Internet and intranet users to benefit from the high-level security that has always been available in Lotus Notes and Domino," says Julie Palen, CEO of Internoded. Not simply a developer of AS/400 solutions, Internoded also uses AS/400s in-house to host and develop the architecture for its clients' sites.

Summing up the warm reception the AS/400 received at LotuSphere99, Randy Watson, president of inter.action(Boulder, Colo.), makers of PM for Lotus Domino, said, "Integration is the key to Domino on the AS/400. You'd have to be out of your mind not to run at least one Domino server on an AS/400 [particularly if you're running Domino on multiple servers]."