IBM Corp. is trying to ride Apple’s iPad momentum with a free download that lets Lotus Notes customers receive secure access to e-mail, calendar and other collaboration tools on the touch-screen computer.

“The iPad is a lot like the iPhone,” which was already supported by Lotus Notes, says Kevin Cavanaugh, vice president of messaging and collaboration at IBM. “I think this is a recognition that at least some folks are looking at using the iPad as a convenient business device. Personally, I’m traveling with an iPad and have been using the [Lotus Notes] software as I travel around. It’s been working incredibly well.”

Although the iPad and iPhone are popular devices, customers have expressed concern about the security of running business applications, including e-mail, Cavanaugh says. With Lotus Notes Traveler – an iPhone OS app available in the Apple App Store – e-mail will be synced with Lotus Domino servers and encrypted.

IBM is set to announce the free download of Lotus Notes Traveler on Tuesday this week. IBM is also working on integrating the cloud-based service, LotusLive Notes, with the iPad, but the cloud-based version won’t be available until later this year, Cavanaugh says.

With Traveler Lotus Notes customers will receive “two-way, over-the-air synchronization of enterprise e-mail, calendar and contact between Lotus Domino servers and mobile devices, including the iPad,” IBM announced. Traveler will allow “per message mail encryption.”

Separately from Traveler, IBM said its other collaboration products have been optimized for the iPad’s Safari web browser.

“Several IBM collaboration products now offer browser based support of the iPad including Lotus Connections and Lotus Quickr for social networking and team collaboration and Lotus Sametime for instant messaging,” IBM said.

IBM providing secure access to e-mail on the iPad is a no-brainer, given that the device sold 2 million units in less than 60 days

The iPhone and iPad already support Microsoft Exchange e-mail accounts, the most commonly used e-mail in the business world.

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