Lotus stands on verge of DMS e-mail approval

Lotus completed a first-run operational assessment of Notes DMS in January, and the
second-run assessment is under way now. Company officials said last week they expect the
Defense Information Systems Agency to declare the software ready for initial operational
capability (IOC) deployment in mid-May-paving the way for Lotus to start delivering the
end-user package to DOD users.


Through the estimated $1.6 billion DMS contract won in 1995 by Lockheed Martin Corp.,
Lotus, Microsoft Corp. and Enterprise Solutions Ltd. have been developing interoperable
versions of X.400-based client messaging software that will work over Open Systems
Interconnection or TCP/IP networks.


Before they can sell their DMS mail packages to users, DISA is requiring each
subcontractor to pass two major test hurdles: functional, security and performance testing
(FSP) and initial operational test and evaluation (IOT&E).


The Joint Interoperability Test Command at Fort Huachuaca, Ariz., is running the tests.
Lotus Notes DMS finished the four FSP lab tests at JITC in December. The Air Force
Operational Test and Evaluation Center (AFOTEC) is running a 60- to 90-day IOT&E at 13
sites to make sure Lotus DMS is ready to enter the IOC phase.


If ADOTEC approves the Notes DMS IOT&E tests, the company can begin shipping Notes
DMS to users. Last October, the Naval Supply Command Center bought 15,000 Lotus Notes DMS
licenses under the early-buy program. The Navy will get the DOD-certified version during
the IOC phase.


If Lotus Notes DMS completes government acceptance testing in mid-May, it will be the
first of the three DMS end-user vendors to pass DOD's IOT&E.


Lotus Notes DMS completed the Government Open System Interconnect Profile conformance
testing last August ahead of Microsoft Exchange DMS and EXM-Mail from Enterprise Solutions
Ltd. of Westlake, Calif. The tests certify conformance with the X.400 P1 protocol and the
X.500 Directory Access Protocol as well as the DMS-specific P772 military messaging and
P42 message security protocols.


"We were the first to complete all four of the tests, three months ahead of
anybody else on the DMS contract," said Keith Attenborough, Lotus' DMS product
manager. "And we are the first and only user agent vendor as of [March 10] to have
all four protocols on the Joint Interoperability Test Command's register. We have not only
completed the testing, but the government has verified that we successfully completed the
testing and placed it on the public register."


Enterprise Solutions has not completed its four certifications. Microsoft Corp. has
completed the four tests and has applied for inclusion on the JITC register.


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