Vodafone is working with IBM to offer access to email and diary system Lotus Notes on mobile phones using WAP (wireless application protocol), the companies announced today.
Lotus Notes email, calendar and directory access is to be added to Vodafone's OfficeLive mobile application range, available over current GSM and the higher-speed packet-based GPRS (general packet radio service). Corporate customers will be able to give employees access to their in-house Lotus Notes server over the WAP service.
Notes over WAP will be available at the end of November. Two customers — CSC Computer Sciences and Abbott Laboratories — have been testing the service for two weeks, said Janine Young, Vodafone's senior press officer. It is too soon to have any feedback on how the trial is going, she said.
Per month per user costs look sane — from £9 to £11 pounds depending on the number of users. Sadly there's also an installation charge of about £2,500, depending on the client's IT setup and how much work is involved for the systems integrator, Young said. Smaller businesses will obviously have to wait for someone to offer the service as an application service provider — something Lotus itself has hinted at obliquely.
It turns out the UK is ripe for this. "It is being introduced here first because the UK is a more mature market than other European countries," she said.