LOTUSPHERE - Users scour the show for answers, tools

Many of the 6,000 or so attendees at this week's Lotusphere 2006 are facing a raft of vexing IT concerns as they try to decide how best to bolster security, comply with regulations, archive e-mail, implement useful administrative tools and secure sales force automation help.

That makes the 13th annual Lotusphere conference, which ends Thursday, a one-stop shop when it comes to finding solutions to the IT issues involved in their Lotus Notes and Domino deployments.

John Tincher, a Notes administrator at Ann Arbor, Mich.-based Flint Ink, a division of printing ink maker Flint Group of Luxembourg, said he is here to find consolidation help, now that his company has merged with two other ink companies. Flint Ink has some 2,500 Notes users in the U.S. on Versions 5 to 6.54 of the software, while the newly acquired companies have about the same number of users on Version 4.6 in Europe, he said. The U.S. operation runs Lotus Domino server, while the European operations run everything from Domino to Microsoft Exchange to Open-Xchange server applications.

As a result, Tincher is trying to figure out how best to marry those disparate e-mail systems so they work well together. 'It's more complicated than we first thought,' he said. 'Fortunately, there are some individuals in Europe who are doing the brunt of that work.'

Tincher was also looking at the upcoming release of Notes 7. 'We just want to get everybody on one platform before going to the next version,' he said. 'It'd be nice to have everyone on Version 6.5 before going to Version 7.'

He particularly liked a feature in Notes 7 that allows an e-mail to be pulled back after it has been sent to another Notes/Domino system. 'That's a good feature that they're finally adding,' Tincher said.