Lotus-IBM launch Lotus Notes in Hindi and Tamil

Cyber News Service
New Delhi, Sep 11

Lotus-IBM recently announced the launch of Lotus’ flagship groupware,
messaging and collaboration product, Lotus Notes version 5.0.4 in Hindi and
Tamil. This version will support two primary scripts–Devanagari and
Tamil–which would also enable the usage of Marathi and Konkani at a later
stage. This launch is the first in a series of other software in local
languages. Another two or three months will see the launch of Universal Database
2, IBM’s database product in local languages. In 2001, the local version of
Websphere, a software for Web enabling business applications, will be launched.
Thereafter, the RISC UNIX OS will support Hindi, following which OS/400, IBM’s
mid-range operating system will also be available in Hindi.

Priced at Rs 5,000 per seat (same as the English version), Lotus Notes in
Hindi will be targeted primarily at the government and public sector
organizations, banking, finance and insurance companies, the education sector,
private corporates, social welfare organizations and NGOs.

Lotus is currently doing a ‘Notes in Hindi’ pilot project for the
Rajasthan government. It is also in talks with the UP government and other
non-government public sector organizations for the deployment of Notes in Hindi.
However, according to Souma S Das, Country Manager, Lotus India, none of the
deals have been finalized as yet.

The product will also be sold to independent software vendors, application
developers and existing business partners. New business partners in the B and C
class town and cities will also be appointed.

Talking about the potential of the local language market in India, Vishwesh
Padmanabhan, Country Manager (Software and Solution Developer Marketing), IBM
India, said, “In a study commissioned by IBM to IIIT Bangalore, it was
found out that this segment could become a $ 29 million opportunity over the
next five years. It is seeing this opportunity that IBM decided to focus on
focusing on the local languages.”

IBM has not set itself a target, in terms of revenues, installed base or
marketshare for Notes in Hindi. Said Padmanabhan, “It is very difficult to
estimate the market size. All we have is the figure from the study that we
commissioned to IIIT Bangalore.”

IBM had in 1997 launched the Hindi version of DOS. Though Padmanabhan could
not give any figures in terms of installed base of the product, he did say that
it was an extremely popular and a well-received product.

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