IBM’s e-Mail in the Cloud Gets Price Trimmed
October 6, 2009 Dan Burger
For less money than a fancy Starbucks caffe mocha and presumably no long line to wait in, IBM will serve you its LotusLive iNotes e-mail every month. Perhaps an indication that coffee at Starbucks is overpriced, but more likely that IBM is hoping that a price cut will put the brakes on Lotus e-mail customers moving to no-cost alternatives where Big Blue points out that some have endured service outages, an intrusion of annoying advertisements, and/or security and privacy irritations “that can impact employee productivity and confidence.”
Hmmm. It’s true that free does not always guarantee freedom from pain.
“E-mail and other collaboration services are the right entry point for many companies to realize the promise of cloud computing, but only if clients feel confident they’re getting business-grade service from a trusted leader in enterprise services,” said Bob Picciano, the general manager of IBM Lotus Software.
LotusLive is part of IBM’s cloud-based collaboration initiative, so that’s where you’ll find iNotes–in the land where companies no longer have e-mail servers and software to manage and maintain. IBM will be handling those duties for you, if you so please.
That will surely be seen as a benefit to some companies, as will the opportunity to continue using Lotus Notes and Microsoft Exchange (if one or the other is your favorite flavor and change doesn’t taste as good to you). IBM claims its cloud e-mail service already has more than 18 million e-mail accounts under management and more than half of global Fortune 100 companies are users of Lotus Notes.
One thing to consider when thinking about cloud-based e-mail is that it doesn’t need to be a total migration. It can be a gradual progression with phases accomplished by departments or locations, for instance. In the case of LotusLive iNotes, the gradual migration can include support for additional collaboration software if and when it suits company requirements.
Another consideration is that LotusLive iNotes provides access to company e-mail for remote employees, retail clerks, manufacturing floor workers or others who benefit from on-premise e-mail systems and access to calendars and contacts.
All this for $3 per user per month. You probably wish your coffee habit was so cheap.