Notes support coming to the iPhone

This is huge news – just amazed it wasn’t announced in the OGS or at MacWorld.  John Fontana reports on NetworkWorld:

Real-time access to Notes coming to iPhone, other devices

Orlando, Fla. – IBM/Lotus for the first time ever will provide users of the iPhone and other mobile devices that support ActiveSync with real-time access to their email, calendars and contacts.

The company plans to announce on Wednesday that it will add support for Microsoft’s ActiveSync protocol, which will enable instant over-the-air email delivery to Apple’s iPhone 2.0 mail client and other handsets that support the protocol.

The ActiveSync technology will be added later this year to Lotus Notes Traveler, which provides real-time replication between mobile devices and Notes.

Lotus Notes users have had to suffer with email access via the iPhone’s Safari browser and the Notes Web Access client. With that configuration, users have to manually connect to the Domino server and go through each individual email via the browser.

ActiveSync support has been one of the top requests Lotus gets from its user base, especially those based in Europe who do not have access to unlimited data plans.

The ActiveSync support was demonstrated on the iPhone during a session Monday at IBM’s annual Lotusphere conference.

Presenter Ed Brill, director of product management for Lotus Software, would only say the company “plans to support ActiveSync in a future version of Lotus Notes Traveler.”

Excellent news, IBM… You really get the impression that ‘the powers that be’ are listening to customer demands far more than in years past, and are working damn hard to make them happen.  The announcements of the past few days – support for OpenNTF, the new application store, improvements to Connections, clear SaaS strategy, planned support Quickr connectors for Mac and many more – all point toward a new openness, sensitivity to feedback and speed of delivery within the Lotus brand.  I’m impressed.

Stuart McIntyre is a Senior Strategist at Fostering Community Limited. He curates a number of product-focused news sites, is a lapsed podcaster, founded the Social Connections user group and regularly speaks at conferences and events. This blog represents his own slightly-eccentric and usually-controversial opinions!