Commontime mNotes v5 beta

I got an invite via email to join a 2000 user group testing the new mNotes 5 app from Commontime. Now I have a lot of respect for Commontime and have used their products for the past 3 or 4 years without any real problems. But the new V5 version allows you to receive all your mail and calendar invites over the air.

Now that seems great and blackberry style push email thoughts rush into your head and true mobile access to Lotus Notes is only a click away. Er wrong, the small print in the email states that your computer needs to be permanently on and always connected..hmm.

So basically mNotes v5 is emoze.

Not a great leap forward, I don’t think at this point that I’ll be upgrading to v5 once the beta testing is complete. I don’t need or want instant access to Lotus Notes emails, I just need to have my calendar with me and mNotes is perfect for that task.

So if you can afford to leave your laptop at your desktop whilst you travel and can risk it not crashing whilst you’re out of the country and you don’t fancy emoze then give mNotes v5 a try by all means…I won’t.

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4 thoughts on “Commontime mNotes v5 beta

  1. Thank you, Rob, for taking the time to write your opinions regarding the CommonTime mNotes5 announcement

    We just wanted to comment on what you wrote. We feel it’s important that all of our customers and wider audience understand CommonTime’s intentions with mNotes5 and why it is not an ‘emoze’.

    Firstly, and most simply, CommonTime cares about Lotus Notes, and Lotus Notes users, more than anybody else. We run Lotus Notes internally and wouldn’t want to run any other messaging system. CommonTime’s solutions were first to mobilize Lotus Sametime, first to mobilize Notes for Windows Mobile, first to mobilize Lotus Notes 6 and free time search. We have already developed clients for Notes 8. You just don’t get this kind of commitment to Lotus Notes from a company like Emoze. If you read their site and their literature they’re extremely Exchange focused, even though they support Notes. So with the limited effort they put into Notes, we can see why such a service would be free.

    People that care about Lotus Notes choose CommonTime; that’s what our customers tell us everyday, and we live for our customers, they are what drives us to improve our software and service everyday.

    This commitment to Notes helps to deliver solutions that are ‘value-rich’ and worth paying for. mNotes5 includes features you simply would not get in a free service e.g.
    • mobile Lotus Sametime
    • over-the-air re-provisioning of existing settings/data onto a new device if your current device is lost or stolen
    • full scheduling and calendaring (more than just entering a meeting!)
    o online free time search, just like you find in Notes
    o counter-propose, accept, decline invites. Complex repeating meetings handled with integrity

    So where did mNotes5 come from?
    The commitment to customers has steered the way for CommonTime since the Cadenza (now mNotes) product. Hundreds of thousands of people bought Cadenza and mNotes; they all used it in an Enterprise. A lot of them said that mNotes is the best Lotus Notes sync software in its industry. Also, many of them said that their CIO or IT Admin would love to make CommonTime’s product a corporate standard but its security and management was lacking. mSuite was developed to address these issues, and was built with rock solid security and centralized management capabilities such as central remote deployment, OTA software & policy updates etc.

    A couple of years later while continuing to build and support the mSuite customer base, CommonTime received questions as to when mSuite would be available for installation by individuals. In other words, could access to Enterprise-strength wireless push messaging be available without requiring a corporate server, Administrator rights, port access etc. Those requests spawned mNotes5, but we didn’t want to jump on the ‘lowest common denominator’, ‘free software’ band wagon.

    The aim became to get an Enterprise-class solution into the hands of individuals, for wireless Lotus Notes messaging and mobile Domino applications. We believe that this has been achieved with mNotes5 and, when it is released, we believe it will be worth every penny paid for it. Our customers, as they usually do, will answer the question as to whether it is worth the money. They have opportunity to try mNotes5 during the Beta trial taking place soon

    I hope this helps you understand what we’re trying to achieve, on behalf of our current and future, customers at CommonTime

    Nigel Mackrill
    CEO, CommonTime

  2. Mnotes 5, due to having to leave your computer on and at home at all times, leaves me cold. As an active international traveler, and CEO of a mid-size multi-national, we are looking for ways to deliver our email to our people as they travel remotely. Leaving the laptop at home is not an option, Blackberry requires a new server and outside security, Smartmail is what we seem to be headed for. I had hoped to use Mnotes 5 for this, but having to leave my laptop home killed it for me. I have used Cadenza/mnotes for years and like the software and still use version 4.3.8 for syncing my pda phone (AT&T Tilt) to my laptop. I do not want a seperate email server just for forwarding email, like Blackberry or the Enterprise version of Mnotes, redundancy is cost. We already have an email server, don’t need or want another one.

    For now, we will continue to use the email forward feature of Lotus notes to a private email box and the wireless carrier’s provided SMTP server (included in your wireless provider data plan, although they rarely tell you it exists).

    It does not fill a niche for our people at least and few folks today have a dedicated desktop machine to leave on, as anyone on travel duty is fully portable, so MNotes 5 is at least 5 years behind the times of what is happening in corporations today regarding information transfer.

    Mike Stephens

  3. Mike,

    I agree, mNotes is a great product and Commontime provides wonderful support for their products, but I too just can’t leave a laptop at home forwarding email. There’s too many cons for the service to make me even try it.

    Hopefully, mNotes is working on a truly mobile service that doesn’t require a laptop left on someplace, a hosted service with a military level of encryption.

    I’ve now moved to a hosted exchange account which covers my personal stuff, but my work based calendar is now imported in gcal, not an ideal solution but it works for now.

    I’m afriad commontime will get left behind, PDA sales are down and balckberry and activesync marches on, I’m sure Nigel has a plan, commontime surely knows what it’s doing.

  4. I don’t know how many real companies can afford to forward Lotus Notes email (unencrypted) to a private email and use a wireless carrier provided SMTP server. It leads me to doubt the “multi-national midsize” credentials mike is talking about.

    Commontime is a lifesaver for me on my Android device. I used to have a blackberry and my company ran a BES. They now support iPhone synching but nothing for android yet. I love commontime’s ability to encrypt, forward my email and synch with the native calendar on my android phone without requiring a separate client. However I think it is way too expensive for individuals. $70 a year is a little too much as there are still a number ofbugs and restrictions.

    Just because it requires an additional computer doesn’t make it a dud. I have a desktop at work in addition to my primary machine which is a laptop. I run mNotes on my desktop and its on all the time. Its not a resource hog so I am fine leaving inrunning when I work on my desktop.

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