IBM Notes, formerly known as Lotus Notes, offers business collaboration tools, including email, calendars, and contact management. One of the more useful features of IBM Notes is its group calendaring and scheduling functionality. A group calendar gives you a user-friendly overview of team members’ calendars, allows you to quickly determine whether people are available at a specific time or date, and provides you with planning tools.
However, a growing number of organizations are making the decision to migrate from IBM Notes. Many users believe that IBM Notes has not kept pace with innovation and has become outdated in today’s web, mobile, and social context. Microsoft Outlook® is seen as a more appealing option because of its ease of use, large user base, and flexibility. The problem is that when you move from IBM Notes to Outlook®, you lose some beneficial features, including the group calendar and ability to get a user-friendly overview of team members’ calendars.
An add-on such as a group calendar for Outlook® will add time-saving planning tools for Outlook® and give you overview of multiple calendars
Despite the fact that IBM Notes is falling out of fashion, it does offer some useful functionality not available in Outlook®. In IBM Notes, for example, catering and services can be included in the order workflow but in Outlook®, they are not. Other features that are lost when you migrate from IBM Notes to Outlook® include the following:
- Front desk/receptionist view for improved customer service
- Advanced planning and appointment booking tools
- Reports about usage, orders, department, etc.
- Guest registration and visitor ID creation
- Integration with digital signage
- Advanced appointment statistics tools
Extend Outlook’s Functionality with Add-Ons
Although there is a lot to gain from migrating to Outlook® from IBM Notes, all of the above functionality is lost. The good news is that you can obtain these features and then some in Outlook® through the use of add-ons. Add-On Products’ Resource Central is an add-on solution for Outlook® that allows you to book meetings in under 2 minutes. With Resource Central, you can search for available meeting rooms, book meetings, and order extra services with ease. Changes and cancellations are handled automatically. Resource Central completely manages the meeting planning and booking process, freeing up your staff to spend time on other tasks. Resource Central can also be used to manage hot desks and hoteling arrangements, register guests, and create visitor badges.
Add-On Products also offers a group calendaring solution for Outlook® that makes up for the team calendar features that are lost when migrating from IBM Notes to Outlook®. Exchange Central provides user-friendly overviews of multiple Outlook® calendars and improves collaboration and communication between different employees and departments. Calendars can be customized to meet your specific needs and grouped by location, department, or even temporary group for specific projects. Exchange Central gives users the ability to book appointments for colleagues without sending out meeting requests. When you book an appointment, an email is sent to your colleague notifying them of the activity and you can attach documents or an agenda to read prior to the activity. This allows you to quickly and easily schedule colleagues such as internal and external consultants. Users can also extract statistics and generate reports on how employees and teams spend their time. Exchange Central’s receptionist view feature allows receptionists to easily access employees’ schedules and quickly and easily send them a telephone message or book an appointment in their calendar.
Add-On Products’ WebTeam Central is web-based team calendar software for Outlook® that offers most of the same features as Exchange Central. The difference is that WebTeam Central can be accessed anytime, anywhere, allowing you to plan projects and schedule meetings with colleagues while you are on the go. You can use your commuting time more wisely and even access your group calendar while you’re traveling for business or attending meetings off site.
Maximize the Power of Outlook® with Group Calendaring and Meeting Booking Add-Ons
Many organizations are leaving IBM Notes, but that doesn’t mean they have to give up group calendaring and advanced planning tools. For more information about Add-On Products’ extensions for Microsoft Outlook®, contact us today.