Lotus guru Ron Sebastian recently demonstrated the new Lotus Sametime 7.5 environment. This fully open, eclipse based, platform is a new leap forward towards real time business including sound proof ´click to call´capabilities (with Skype quality), ´instant communities´ and location awareness locating people all over the globe via (for example) Google maps.
Sametime truly allows people in different places to work together in a virtual office, whether they’re across the hall or across the globe. Sametime 7.5 will have secure and completely free connections to other, public networks like Google talk, Yahoo and AOL. And as soon as Microsoft decides to start using its (own developed) SIP protocol maybe also MSN messenger. Lotus also announced partnerships with Nokia and Rim enabling their new Communicators and Blackberry´s standard with the new Sametime mobile client.
IBM started saving ± 40 million $ a year after the introduction of Sametime some years ago. It´s already more important then email and it´s importance will only increase with the coming of these new possibilities. Why send a mail if you can speak to someone live whilst sharing a file and instantly sending a quick feedback poll to the rest of the community?
All over a (virtually) free Internet connection... its much more efficient and saves money and time.