T.A. McCann Talks New Partnership with IBM’s Lotus Notes, Gist Strategy for 2010

Seattle startup Gist announced today that its technology for connecting people’s e-mail inbox with the Web now works, in limited release, with Lotus Notes, IBM’s popular communication and collaboration software. Gist’s software will be made available to a select group of Lotus Notes customers in advance of a wider release still to come.

It’s part of Gist’s broader strategy to push information from the Web to business people, so as to make their daily work more efficient. Instead of looking up contacts and companies on the Web, for instance, Gist users can get updates delivered to them in whatever context they’re working in—e-mail, calendar, or spreadsheet. With Lotus Notes, wherever a name or e-mail address appears in a text document, say, Gist lists information about that person and their company.

So far, people can use Gist through Microsoft Outlook, Gmail, Salesforce.com, social media like Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn, and an iPhone application. The company says it has tens of thousands of users, and getting traction with Lotus Notes customers is the next big step.

“This gives us yet another enterprise-class partner,” says T.A. McCann, Gist’s founder and CEO. “It’s great to be working with IBM Global Services. It gets us to the other half of corporate e-mail in America.” Lotus Notes has more than 30 million users. It is particularly popular with consulting organizations.

McCann says the first half of this year will be about “continuing to refine the user experience.” After that, it will be time to go to market with some big corporate accounts. The company’s revenue model will be based on premium subscriptions, but it hasn’t given details about this yet. “Our strategy is to continue to integrate Gist into people’s daily workflow,” McCann says.

Gist has about 20 employees, and is backed by Paul Allen’s Vulcan Capital and Foundry Group. The company recently moved into new offices near Qwest Field.

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