IBM Corp duly unveiled its plan to sell Lotus Domino-with- everything and take on Netscape Communications Corp and Microsoft Corp in the groupware market yesterday in San Francisco (CI No 3,139). It says its strategic aim is not to intercept Netscape and Microsoft customers, but to capture them early. Lotus Domino Mail server with email, calendaring, newsgroups and forums; a re- packaged Lotus Domino web application server; plus web-enabled versions of the DB2 Universal Database and CICS Transaction Series software servers are each based upon a new entry-level Lotus Go cut of the Domino web server technology – Go reportedly for the Japanese strategy game of the same name. It’s essentially a Lotus makeover of the existing internet connection servers, it told IBM, Lotus and Tivoli sales staff on a call last week. A product name for Lotus Go is still hung-up with the briefs. E- business connectors are designed to connect heterogeneous applications, transactions and components to each other. Lotus Domino.Connect supports Notes connections to a raft of middleware products; there’s a CICS Gateway for Java; Net.data to for web- based database access; and eNetwork Host On-Demand, an end-to-end network Java connection. E-business enhancers include an Interactive Network Dispatcher for balancing web site traffic; eNetwork Artour for remote users; Firewall and SecureWay security; directory servers; plus Tivoli management products. A network computing framework includes a Java programming system designed to link to back-end databases and transaction systems. E-business developer tools include VisualAge for e-business; Notes Designer for Domino and Lotus Go Pro – all include the Fusion web-site building software IBM acquired from NetObjects Inc. In its call to sales staff last week Big Blue made it clear the whole point of its announcement is to sell more Domino! It also reminded its Lotus and Tivoli staff – but left out of yesterday’s announcement – the reminder that Fusion will not work with Domino for some considerable time. The long and short of what IBM’s doing is plumbing its ‘Eagle’ Software Server packages to the web using Lotus, Java, VisualAge and NetObjects technologies, and breaking apart Domino into a bunch of re- packaged and more salable product bundles. After all IBM has spent some $5bn acquiring companies such as Lotus and Tivoli to jump-start its $12bn software business. That business is reportedly is returning a weakly 4% year-on-year growth compared to an industry average of 12%, while market leaders Microsoft and Oracle grew their sales 25% and 38% respectively in 1996. Software honcho SVP John M Thompson’s software group has 23,000 staff and 12 research and development labs, down from 26. IBM offered no availability or pricing details, saying it would make dates and prices available within a month.