Lotus Rolls Out New Services Strategy

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Lotus general manager Al Zollar in his keynote address Monday at Lotusphere 2002 said his company would take a new approach to selling services.

Lotus launched a new services strategy that focuses Lotus Professional Services, which has been renamed Software Services for Lotus, on assisting customer deployment of Lotus products, with an emphasis on emerging technologies and newer software, while shifting away from traditional consulting work. Zollar emphasized the services strategy is designed to help both partners and customers leverage Lotus products rather than to bolster Lotus' consulting business.

"Instead of viewing [Software Services for Lotus as a source of consulting revenue, we will now view it primarily as a way to ensure that all of our offerings are fully supported with services," Zollar said. "To provide that full support, we'll rely heavily on select members of our business partner community."

Following the keynote, Zollar clarified the new strategy during a press conference, saying Software Services for Lotus will work with resellers and integrators rather than cut them out of the picture. To that effect, Zollar said the Lotus direct salesforce can no longer make their quotas through services revenue, only new software license revenue.

"We've made it very clear to our partners that we're much more focused on enabling them to provide services around our new products," Zollar said.

Prior to Lotusphere, the company reorganized the Lotus Professional Services team, which reportedly included a small number of layoffs. The company on Monday said Lotus Software Services' sales team would work closely with the IBM Software Group sales teams in bringing new solution-led offerings to customers.

Lotus also announced new alliances with Cisco Systems and Captaris to develop unified communications solutions. Zollar said the two companies will combine voice communications technologies with Lotus' Notes and Domino software to allow Lotus customers to manage voice communications via e-mail.

"It's now possible for almost any corporate voicemail to be in a Domino in-box," Zollar said.

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