Lotus Begins Testing Phone-Access Software
Ilda, Jeanne, American Banker
Lotus Development Corp. said last week it is testing software that will allow banks and other companies to use a touch-tone telephone to access and change information stored in its popular Lotus Notes software.
Lotus will begin testing Phone Notes with several software developers and customers by the end of this month. The test participants have not yet been chosen, according to David Rome, general manager of Lotus' Companion Products Division.
The software will be commercially available by June, Mr. Rome said.
Commercial banks, including Bankers Trust New York Corp., Chase Manhattan Bank, and J.P. Morgan & Co., use Lotus Notes software to share information about large corporate clients or investments across one or more departments.
Category of |Groupware'
While software links between touch-tone telephones and computer data bases are nothing new, the link to Notes' data bases is significant because of its ability to share information across networks.
Lotus Notes is the most popular form of "groupware," a type of software that turns networks into electronic filing cabinets.
Microsoft Corp., among other companies, is developing similar group applications, but Lotus is the market leader.
Phone Notes "is a way of building group voice response systems," Mr. Rome said.
Telephone access "is just another way to set up accounts, check the status of trades, or give customer service to corporate bank accounts. …