IBM Lotus Gets Into The Hosted Email Game. Phew.

Tedschadler by Ted Schadler

It is inevitable and welcome that a revitalized Lotus has launched a hosted email and calendar service.

Inevitable because cloud-based email services are on the rise and IBM isn't going to miss out on that. It might be your entire messaging system -- email, calendar, contacts as in hosted Exchange, Gmail, and now Notes Hosted Messaging. Or it might be an ancillary service as in email filtering from Microsoft, Google Postini, or Symantec MessageLabs or Exchange management from Azaleos. But pushing email out of the data center and into the cloud has some real benefits (outlined below).

Welcome to Forrester's enterprise customers because having Microsoft as the only hosted email service in town limits customer choice. And that's never good.

Oh yeah, then there's the attractive price. While nobody can undercut Google's $50/user/year price, IBM has aggressively priced this offering for between $8 and $18 per user per month.

Colleague Chris Voce and I are working on a matched set of reports that do deep dives into the costs and opportunities (and risks) of moving email into the cloud. After months with a messaging cost model spreadsheet, I'm here to tell you that the Notes Hosted Messaging price is great for email that you don't have to worry about. Look for our reports in November, but feel free to check in now if you want to talk about the findings.

So who should look into IBM's new Notes Hosted Messaging service? At least these three groups:

For Microsoft Exchange customers or companies that want to upgrade or shift to the Microsoft messaging and collaboration solution in a cloud-based service, there are plenty of options: Microsoft Online Services, AT&T,, HP, EDS, and a slew of others.

Questions, comments, discussion points? Please comment.

  1. Existing Notes customers that want to move email for some employees into the cloud. This "domain splitting" solution lets you keep the high-intensity users on-premise and offload the low-intensity users to someone else.
  2. New customers looking to go with IBM and not Microsoft. IBM Lotus has many other collaboration products and plans to extend its cloud-based collaboration services way beyond email and calendaring. So get started with messaging and add instant messaging and other collaboration services as they come online down the road.
  3. Cash-constrained customers that want to move to the latest version of email. The two real advantages of cloud-based collaboration services are: 1) the pay-as-you-go pricing model, which keeps money in the bank and assets off the balance sheet; and 2) the offloading of administration and maintenance hassle that consumes so much of the IT budget.



    re: IBM Lotus Gets Into The Hosted Email Game. Phew.

    I think you guys are really missing something here in your report. First, Lotus partners have been offering this exact service for years at a lower entry point with some of the sizing and other restrictions removed. Ed Brill actually points it out in his announcement posting.I followed his with my own., some of your assumptions are already provided for with the services listed in #1. We already provide this domain splitting for numerous companies and schools, from Notes client, to DWA to BES services, all part of their existing Domino domain.Third, we upgrade the companies as fast as they desire and have a large remote management offering that keeps adminsitration costs low while providing 24x7 admins skills. This lets them keep their environments in house, updated to the newest versions and removes the staffing overhead.So I was not sure about the Phew part of the title since it should be more like, oh.

    re: IBM Lotus Gets Into The Hosted Email Game. Phew.

    Thanks for commenting on the post, Chris. I will look forward to learning more about Connectria's hosted Notes service. It's nice to know that IBM hasn't ceded the entire hosted messaging market to Microsoft. And for less than $8/user/month? I'm intrigued.

    re: IBM Lotus Gets Into The Hosted Email Game. Phew.

    Lotus 911 ( offers the same service for as little as $5 per user per month without having a 1,000 user minimum, and can add browser access, Blackberry, Sametime, Connections, full team collaboration (Quickr Standard) and other template or custom applications.

    re: IBM Lotus Gets Into The Hosted Email Game. Phew.

    It's great to see the Lotus business partners mentioning their presence in the hosting space. This is a situation where all boats rise in the ocean. The IBM approaches to providing Domino (Foundations, Express, Hosted Notes, partner hosting, strategic outsourcing, or just plain on-premise deployment) are all available. Some provide for a single-vendor solution, which we hear is important. Some provide for international data centers, virtual dedicated environments, or flexible connectivity. The bottom line is, we can meet customer demand or more importantly, provide innovative approaches, through these various options.

    re: IBM Lotus Gets Into The Hosted Email Game. Phew.

    Ed: Great to have you commenting on the blog post. For those of you new to Ed Brill (as I myself am), he's Director, End User Messaging and Collaboration, at IBM Lotus. Check out his blog at to stay in touch.

    re: IBM Lotus Gets Into The Hosted Email Game. Phew.

    Ted, Many thanks for the well-written summary of the Lotus Notes Hosted Messaging offering. As mentioned above, it's all about providing the best messaging options for customers.