The company said the three suites -- one for large companies, one for small firms, and one for autonomous departments -- would help companies incorporate their existing systems with the NT environment.
"It's going to integrate and protect the investment in legacy systems that our customers have already made," said Ian Bonner, vice president of Lotus and IBM (IBM) worldwide partner marketing programs.
IBM will release a test version of the suites to its partners in April, so they can develop applications that run on them. The suites will incorporate technology from both IBM and its Lotus Development Corp., including Domino server software and tools that make the suites easy to install. IBM said it would ship similar integrated suites for the OS/2 and Unix platforms by the end of this year. The three suites are code-named Emerald, Rodin, and Bartholdi.
Emerald, the small business suite, will include the Domino Intranet Starter Pack, the DB2 relational database, and small-business templates that will allow IBM's partners to design industry-specific applications. Rodin, which is aimed at specific departments, will include Domino as well as application management technology from the company's Tivoli division. And Bartholdi, the large-business suite, will include, among other things, Domino, MQSeries middleware, and IBM's TXSeries, which allows developers to build secure transactional applications.
IBM also unveiled several partners that will incorporate the suites into their product lines, including Candle Corp., Cognos Inc., Boole & Babbage Inc., and Seer Technologies Inc. IBM said the suites would help the company and its partners grab a piece of the NT services and solutions market, which International Data Corp. expects to grow to $35 billion by the year 2000. The company also touted the suites as a tool for jumpstarting e-commerce among mid-sized and small businesses.