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Lotus Traveler 8.5.2 - two great features that make the Nokia/Traveler mix a compelling choice for Business

Mat Newman  July 14 2010 22:42:17
The upcoming release of Lotus Traveler - 8.5.2 - brings new features to Nokia smart phone users that makes Lotus Notes/Domino a compelling choice for business.

For the manufacturer who is still the world-wide market share leader in mobile devices (various sources ... wikipedia,  electronista, etc) the worlds leading technology company - IBM - continues to improve support for Nokia's symbian platform with enhancements to Lotus Traveler.

The Traveler client for Nokia S60 devices is available for download from a server running IBM Lotus Domino with the Traveler plug-in installed.

Nokia S60 devices include principally E, N and X -Series phones.

The Lotus Traveler client can be installed from an enabled IBM Lotus Domino server by browsing to http://yourserver/servlet/traveler on your mobile device.  Once logged-in, Traveler automatically identifies supported phones and provides a link to download the appropriate client.  After downloading the installer, the user provides their Lotus username, password and Traveler server, and the Traveler client begins to synchronise the data from the users Notes Mail, Calendar, To-do's and Contacts.  The Installation and subsequent Synch may be performed over both a WiFi or Mobile Telephone (Cellular) network.

As a long-time mobile device user, my history includes the Mobile(Cell)/Palm/Easy-synch and Mobile/Palm/mnotes combinations, right through to the present, where I carry only one device: my trusty Nokia N97.  Combined with Lotus Traveler, my Nokia has proven to be an outstanding device, and a brilliant business tool.  

Two new features in particular reduce the gap previously experienced by Nokia users compared with those of corporate smart-phone rival, RIM's Blackberry.

The ability to schedule synchronisation, and a new Lotus Name Lookup are enhancements to the existing feature-set.

Scheduling Synchronisation


Until now, the Lotus Traveler client installed on S60 was an on/off affair, with an automatic option to disable synch when reaching a battery threshold level.  Now with the latest release of Traveler for S60, the user can choose "peak" and "off-peak" synchronisation times and methods.

The new synch options are accessed from within the Traveler synch client by choosing Options -> Settings, as shown at figure 1:

Figure 1: the new Options menu

Image:Lotus Traveler 8.5.2 - two great features that make the Nokia/Traveler mix a compelling choice for Business

The user selects Auto Sync, and is presented with the new Synch menu, as shown at figure 2:

Figure 2: The new Synch menu

Image:Lotus Traveler 8.5.2 - two great features that make the Nokia/Traveler mix a compelling choice for Business

The Schedule features may be customised by choosing the Schedule option from the Synch menu, as shown at figure 3:

Figure 3: The Synch Schedule menu

Image:Lotus Traveler 8.5.2 - two great features that make the Nokia/Traveler mix a compelling choice for Business

Peak Days and Times may be configured from this menu, in addition to the connection type (Manual, Always Connected, or Every...).

With this new feature, users no longer have to remember to enable or disable Auto Synch, the client takes care of the process automatically.

Lotus Name Lookup


Until now, Nokia users had a choice of copying corporate contacts to their Personal Address Book (contacts) or relying on their corporate directory/CRM application providing a web-interface that was accessible through the devices browser to find contact details.

Now, the Lotus Name Lookup allows users to search their IBM Lotus Domino Directory, or - as I discovered to my delight - their IBM Lotus Notes based CRM contacts enabled through Directory Assistance.

Figure 4 shows the new Lotus Name Lookup application on my N97's home screen;

Figure 4: the Lotus Name Lookup icon

Image:Lotus Traveler 8.5.2 - two great features that make the Nokia/Traveler mix a compelling choice for Business

Launching the new Lotus Name Lookup client presents the user with a prompt to "Enter name to lookup:" as shown at figure 5;

Figure 5: Lotus Name Lookup, enter name screen:

Image:Lotus Traveler 8.5.2 - two great features that make the Nokia/Traveler mix a compelling choice for Business

The user types all, or any part of the required contact's details, and the Lotus Name Lookup client searches the Domino server's contacts for a match, as shown at figure 6; search results.

Figure 6: Lotus Name Lookup, search results

Image:Lotus Traveler 8.5.2 - two great features that make the Nokia/Traveler mix a compelling choice for Business

Selecting an option from the search results displays the contacts details, as shown at figure 7.

Figure 7: Lotus Name Lookup contact details:

Image:Lotus Traveler 8.5.2 - two great features that make the Nokia/Traveler mix a compelling choice for Business

By choosing the OPTIONS menu from the search result screen, the user can then call, email, or sms the contact using the details presented on the screen, as shown in figure 8.

Figure 8: Contact Options, email address selected

Image:Lotus Traveler 8.5.2 - two great features that make the Nokia/Traveler mix a compelling choice for Business

If the user clicks one of the Contact's phone numbers before choosing OPTIONS, Call, SMS and "Save to Contacts" features are used, as shown in figure 9,

Figure 9: Contact Options, Phone number selected

Image:Lotus Traveler 8.5.2 - two great features that make the Nokia/Traveler mix a compelling choice for Business

As already mentioned, the great thing about this new feature is the user no longer has to synchronise or copy contacts from their corporate directory or CRM to their device using Lotus Notes, before synching through Traveler to have those contacts details available when out of the office.

Summary:


Two great new features bring a feel of completeness to the Traveler feature-set on Nokia.  I no longer have to rely on my CRM's synch capabilities to copy contacts to my personal address book before synching them to my device.  I have been able to delete hundreds of contacts from my Personal Address Book, which has freed vast amounts of storage space on my N97 and as a result: improved it's performance.

Not having to remember to turn off Auto synch every night has also thrilled my wife - who is no longer informed that I have new email in the middle of the night after I forgot to disable it.

For those organisations using Lotus Notes/Domino who have not yet implemented Blackberry for their users, Lotus Traveler is a compelling addition to your Domino infrastructure, Especially when considering the mobile device platforms that Traveler supports (Windows, Nokia, iThing, Android) and it's cost - did I mention that it's FREE!

Oh, and yes I have written this entry from the point of view of a Nokia user - I will write shortly about our experiences with the new ANDROID support that is also available in Traveler 8.5.2.

Finally, enhanced Administrative features also make it easier with Traveler 8.5.2 for Administrators to control "lost" devices.  You know I had to test it out, and yes, I wiped my N97 clean :-)
Comments

1Albert Buendia  07/15/2010 4:06:46  
Lotus Traveler 8.5.2 - two great features that make the Nokia/Traveler mix a compelling choice for Business

Excellent post, Mat. Could you please check if you can reschedule a meeting from the Traveler Agenda with the Nokia device ? That is a limitation now (like the lookup directory you have mentioned). Thanks !!

Albert

2John Stockbridge  07/15/2010 9:44:23  
Lotus Traveler 8.5.2 - two great features that make the Nokia/Traveler mix a compelling choice for Business

Great post Mat.

The lookup from our CRM system will be a terrific sell into new environments.

I look forward to reading about the Android experience.

John

3Mike  07/15/2010 11:24:51  
Lotus Traveler 8.5.2 - two great features that make the Nokia/Traveler mix a compelling choice for Business

For "The Installation and subsequent Synch may be performed over both a WiFi or Mobile Telephone (Cellular) network. "

My mobile is always connected to ISP but does the Traveler server need connection to ISP (via GPRS) for my mobile to receive the sync ?

Pls elaborate. Thanks.

4Mat Newman

07/15/2010 11:57:16  Lotus Traveler 8.5.2 - two great features that make the Nokia/Traveler mix a compelling choice for Business

@1 - Albert, the Calendar on the S60 varies between devices - which has always been something I have found interesting. For example, on the N97 I can create an appointment, and then Send it, but it's not a true meeting invitation. On the E72, you can send meeting requests natively from the Calendar. However, with Traveler (Mail) installed on either device you have the same options when meeting invitations arrive in your inbox, which you can accept, decline, tentative, etc. For anything tricky when it comes to Calendaring, I have a short-cut on my device to open my mail through iNotes directly to the Calendar.

@3 - Mike, Your device needs to connect via HTTP (ie: through a web browser) to your Domino server to initiate the Traveler client install. So:

Your Domino server needs to be running the Http AND Traveler server tasks

Your Domino server needs to be available on your internal network to set up your device using Internal WiFi, and available via the Internet for your device to connect using the Cellular network or WiFi outside your office.

Hope this helps.

Mat Newman IBM Champion

5Mike  07/15/2010 16:38:41  
Lotus Traveler 8.5.2 - two great features that make the Nokia/Traveler mix a compelling choice for Business

OK, I have Domino install and Traveler configure. HTTP enabled, Traveler task turn on. Now I step out from Office. How's the connection work now for my mobile ? Via GPRS or HTTP ?

6Paul Emery  08/03/2010 3:31:43  
Lotus Traveler 8.5.2 - two great features that make the Nokia/Traveler mix a compelling choice for Business

Any ideas on a release date for Traveler 8.5.2 other than 3Q? I'm guessing September but wasn't sure if you had a more pin pointed date in mind. Really would like to start allowing my users with the Droid Phones to access their email without a 3rd party application like touchdown.

Thanks

7Nathan French  08/06/2010 16:13:00  
Lotus Traveler 8.5.2 - two great features that make the Nokia/Traveler mix a compelling choice for Business

For the nokia n97 mini.

Would be even better if you did not have to point it to a service (eg. cellular network or WiFi) but to the internet Destinations (Menu > Settings and Connectivity > Destinations > Internet) were you can have multible access points (WiFi, Cellular) set-up & it would pick the highest Priority available. That way the users would not have to keep changing the settings.

I hope they think of this in the next release.

8Mat Newman

08/09/2010 21:20:06  Responses

@6: Paul, No sorry - watch for the official announcements re the release date.

@7: Nathan, I agree - it would be nice if Traveler prompted for the available network when you exit and restart, instead of having to go into settings and changing the account all the time. The flip-side of this is that Traveler has proven extremely efficient when running on a local (I notice you're Australian) telco. I run an N97 on Telstra. When I first got it just over 12 months ago I switched to Wi-Fi whenever I could to keep my network usage down. However, after spending an extended period at a site with no Wi-Fi I found that my network usage hadn't gone anywhere near my data plan allowance. I'm on the basic Telstra $10/150mb data pack, and I haven't been anywhere near my limit since using Traveler exclusively on mobile. Even with downloading a few attachments when required I still haven't hit 60mb yet. So as long as you're not pulling down every attachment that's sent to you, you should find that changing the network (Mobile/Wi-Fi) isn't that necessary. Check your mobile data usage through your telco's web-site and see how you're tracking on your plan before deciding whether you really need to change connection settings.

Mat Newman IBM Champion

9Roberto Dominoni  10/06/2010 8:03:06  
Lotus Traveler 8.5.2 - type ahead

About the Name Lookup it would be very nice if Lotus Traveler had the same behavior of Notes client, so when I type directly in the TO: field of a new message the client uses the type-ahead feature that completes names based on the first few letters you type (with a local and/or server lookup).

Have you noticed if this feature has been implemented?

Thanks

10Mat Newman

10/07/2010 14:33:27  Re: Type-Ahead

@9, Roberto: The type ahead is implemented through the email application on the device. For Symbian, Windows Mobile and iThing, Lotus Traveler does not implement it's own email client, it simply uses the default email client installed on the device. Restrictions on device dependant features are not remedied by installing Traveler. This is slightly different for the Android implementation, where Traveler is actually new client software installed on the device.

For Windows and iThing, corporate look-up is handled through the ActiveSynch (Exchange) protocol. On Symbian this is done with new client software built specifically to provide corporate look-up functionality.

Hope this helps explain the implementation - sorry I can't provide a solution, that would be up to Nokia, Microsoft and Apple to implement in their own email programs.

Mat Newman IBM Champion

11Harald Gärttner  10/07/2010 23:19:30  
Lotus Traveler 8.5.2 - two great features that make the Nokia/Traveler mix a compelling choice for Business

Great additions in the new version.

But why did they remove auto sync settings from the policy and dind't add roaming to the policy either?

Those are some of the most important settings to configure centrally ... and they just missed that.

Even worse: "always on" is now default (even on updated devices that used manually before)

Regards

Harald

Mat Newman

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