I was reading the overview by AMI-Partners’ Laure McCabe of IBM’s recent announcements regarding IBM’s new products around the Lotus line.
If Lotus was a company unto itself it would probably not be around due to the growth of lower cost solutions overall, Microsoft Exchange / Outlook dominance and the growth of hosted applications.
However, Lotus is still a viable option for companies because of IBM’s steadfast support including technical and continuous advancement of the product. IBM and IBM partners have developed a number (maybe several dozen or more) add-on / complimentary products to extend the usability of the core Lotus email/collaboration platform.
What does this mean for your business?
Some technologies your company has started with, you should seriously consider migrating from, as the vendor has not continued to develop the product and make it better. However, if the vendor, as in the case of IBM continues to develop the product and provide support for it – enabling the product to grow with your business needs – continuing with the product is fine.
AMI Partners writes:
IBM’s new initiatives include both customer premise and software-as-a-service (SaaS) solutions. First, Lotus Foundations will deliver a line of turnkey small business servers, sold through IBM business partners and designed for customers to run on premise. Second, IBM’s new SaaS solution, codenamed “Bluehouse,” will offer collaboration, contact and document management and other Web-based services to help SMBs collaborate more effectively, both internally and with external constituents.
Since IBM acquired Lotus in 1995, the Lotus brand has, at best, taken a passive marketing approach in the SMB market, although IBM has been more active with other programs, such as Express Advantage, in targeting SMBs. IBM’s new Lotus initiatives underscore its intent to go beyond Express, which was primarily aimed at mid-market customers, to deliver solutions that will appeal to the broad-based SMB market.
The millions of companies within this market face the same business challenges as larger firms, but they typically lack IT expertise and resources-especially beyond the Microsoft Windows world. They may be very interested in the cost advantages of open, Linux-based solutions, but don’t want to add complexity to their IT environment. Likewise, they may be interested in the time-to-solution and cost benefits of SaaS, but can be concerned about the security of Web-based applications, and the extensibility of using them to collaborate and work with those outside their own firms, with customers, suppliers and partners.
I would highly suggest you read Laurie’s full report here.
The choices for communication, collaboration and document management are simply intense. Check out my list here.