IBM is going after Google Apps Premier hard and has the pricing to show it’s serious. Big Blue is announcing the general availability of LotusLive iNotes, a cloud email, calendar and contact management service, for $36 a year per user. Google Apps Premier runs $50 per user a year.
ZiffDavis has picked up on our iNotes launch:
The LotusLive iNotes launch pushes reliability in a big way. Taking a jab at Google’s outages, IBM said it’s imperative that cloud computing “is ready for the enterprise when it’s designed for the enterprise, by the enterprise, and of the enterprise.” Word of IBM’s iNotes move began to surface late Thursday and Big Blue has had a LotusLive iNotes site live for days.
Sean Poulley, vice president of IBM’s online collaboration and cloud services, says the idea behind LotusLive iNotes is to bring more security, reliability and privacy to enterprises that want Webmail.
A few key points on LotusLive iNotes:
IBM is acknowledging companies want hybrid cloud systems and it isn’t going to cede the online portion of the equation to Google. IBM said that LotusLive iNotes is interoperable with Lotus Notes and Microsoft Exchange.
The company is pushing security and reliability as its big pitch, banking on IBM’s reputation as an enterprise service provider. LotusLive iNotes features touted by IBM include secure email via any Web browser, offline capability, mobile mail and cloud centralized calendar and contracts.
IBM is aiming to get its foot in the door at companies that are looking for “gradual or dramatic migrations to the cloud” while supporting on-premise software. Poulley says that IBM isn’t pushing the market in any one direction. He acknowledged there will be some companies that want all on-premise software and others that want everything in the cloud. The big middle tier will be hybrid.
The company appears to be setting up Lotus as a cloud brand. When asked whether Lotus could become synonymous with enterprise 2.0, Poulley pointed out Lotus Connections and other Web 2.0 features IBM is embracing. “In the last three years most of the Lotus portfolio has been adapted to be Web 2.0 centric,” says Poulley, who added Connections is the fastest growing Lotus brand IBM has ever had.
And unlike Google,
LotusLive iNotes was built for business use. Unlike other Web mail services, LotusLive iNotes accounts are not co-mingled with free, consumer accounts nor are they targeted for advertising spam.
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