Surfing The Net For E-Mail
Lotus cc:Mail Web expands mail access
By Stephanie Stahl
Issue date: Oct. 16, 1995
Want to check your electronic mail from the road? Just get to the nearest PC and surf the Internet.
Lotus Development has come up with a way for users of its cc:Mail system to access their corporate network-based mail via the World Wide Web. Expected by the end of the year, cc:Mail Web will let users retrieve and send mail from any computer equipped with a Web browser.
Users can access their inbox, folders, and bulletin boards, all from an interface that looks almost exactly like their cc:Mail environment. "We tried to make it familiar enough that users don't even need to be trained on it," says Amy Shaw, product manager for Lotus' cc:Mail group.
"This provides us with an excellent way to get access to E-mail while on the road," says Tom Parish, manager of network services for Motorola's emerging computing operations. "We won't have to carry a portable and we can essentially walk up to anybody's machine and access mail back at the home office."
Currently, cc:Mail users, like users of other mail systems based on local area networks, can access their E-mail only from their own computer, where much of the intelligence of the E-mail system is stored.
Lotus demonstrated cc:Mail Web in January at its annual users conference and users have been waiting eagerly ever since. "It was like an angry mob. People were yelling, 'We want this now!' " says Bruce Ladner, network specialist at National Instrument Corp. in Austin, Texas, which plans to deploy the pro duct.
The cc:Mail Web software resides on a dedicated HTTP Web Server and interacts with any cc:Mail post office.
To prevent unauthorized access, users must enter a name, password, and a Uniform Resource Locator (URL) to get into the E-mail system. Lotus also will provide tools for E-mail administrators to identify and track users who are accessing cc:Mail via the Web.
cc:Mail Web will cost $195 plus about $20 per user.
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