The Best New Features in Lotus Sametime 7.5 - InformationWeek
IoT
IoT
News
Commentary
9/18/2006
12:00 AM
Melanie Turek
Melanie Turek
Commentary
50%
50%

The Best New Features in Lotus Sametime 7.5

The news around Lotus Sametime 7.5 has trickled out for months. The newly released version has 150 new features packed into it, but some of these new capabilities are more interesting than others. Many new features simply bring Sametime up to par with other enterprise, and even consumer, clients. (Including AIM Triton, which, for all its drawbacks—ridiculous emoticons, annoying ads, the co-opting of your Web browser, ugh!—is a pretty stellar IM client.)

Now that Sametime 7.5 is finally here, let’s look at some of its best new features.

For instance, the selective “do not disturb” adjustments, and the business-card-like info (see figure, below), both bring Sametime in line with other, more complete enterprise IM clients, adding capabilities that I think are required in an enterprise-grade communications tool. Same goes for the new, more advanced click-to-call capabilities. And of course, Office integration is a must-have if Lotus is to compete for new users with Microsoft.

20060918turek1_1.jpgThat said, there are some nifty new features that are, at least collectively, specific to Sametime. The integration with other IM systems is hardly unique, and it’s increasingly important—but how very nice that it’s free! I also love the persistent message threads, so chat histories are saved on a user’s PC. Archiving IM conversations is one thing (and don’t get me wrong—it’s critical for certain compliance needs), but from an end user’s POV I don’t want to have to go digging around for the history of my last chat session. It’s really nice to have it available whenever I launch a chat with someone, so I can remember where we left things off.

Also very nice is the fact that the software will automatically change a user’s status when he or she enters a Web conference. Obviously, this is only one instance in which a person might be busy or unavailable on IM, but any help users can get in updating their presence status is clearly welcome—and because IM and conferencing are so well integrated the Sametime system can do this easily.

I’m personally less enamored of the spell-check, but I know plenty of people who would be very distressed if their Office spell check suddenly disappeared, and who will be thrilled with having those capabilities built into IM (goodness knows, plenty of us can use the help).

Finally, one very cool feature is the physical location awareness, which lets users know where a contact is at a given moment. This info will be increasingly important in a growing virtual workplace, and as users tap into Sametime on mobile devices. It’s not fully mature yet—it would require automatic, GPS-enhanced data updates for that, and watch out for the privacy issues that will come with it. But it’s really good step in enabling a truly complete and integrated presence portfolio.

Comment  | 
Print  | 
More Insights
Comments
Newest First  |  Oldest First  |  Threaded View
How Enterprises Are Attacking the IT Security Enterprise
How Enterprises Are Attacking the IT Security Enterprise
To learn more about what organizations are doing to tackle attacks and threats we surveyed a group of 300 IT and infosec professionals to find out what their biggest IT security challenges are and what they're doing to defend against today's threats. Download the report to see what they're saying.
Register for InformationWeek Newsletters
White Papers
Current Issue
2017 State of IT Report
In today's technology-driven world, "innovation" has become a basic expectation. IT leaders are tasked with making technical magic, improving customer experience, and boosting the bottom line -- yet often without any increase to the IT budget. How are organizations striking the balance between new initiatives and cost control? Download our report to learn about the biggest challenges and how savvy IT executives are overcoming them.
Video
Slideshows
Twitter Feed
Sponsored Live Streaming Video
Everything You've Been Told About Mobility Is Wrong
Attend this video symposium with Sean Wisdom, Global Director of Mobility Solutions, and learn about how you can harness powerful new products to mobilize your business potential.
Flash Poll