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Effective January 1, 2011, IBM will be adding entitlement to use Lotus Domino clustering for all then-current Domino Collaboration Express customers (on active service/subscription contracts or new licenses purchased subsequent to 1/1/11).  The formal channel announcement for the entitlement will come next week, with the updated license agreement coming in Domino 8.5.3.

My team looked at several different ways of approaching my request to add clustering for Domino Collaboration Express customers.  We thought about selling a separate "clustering licensing pack", but realized that this meant having to approach thousands of customers about buying some net-new thing.  Instead, we decided on an approach where we simply changed the Collaboration Express licensing terms to add in clustering, meaning the distinction between Express and non-Express is now mostly about whether your organization has less or more than 1000 employees.

The change comes at a cost, but it's a pretty small one.  We haven't adjusted the price of Domino Collaboration Express much in the last several years, even as we changed to the CAL model for non-Express customers a year ago.  As such, the price of Domino Collaboration Express will increase by 10% on 1/1/11 -- in very round numbers, that's something like US$4/user/year increase on the cost of maintenance.  Again, a lot easier approach than selling something new and separate, and as a bonus, customers with renewals between now and the end of March 2011 won't see that increase on their renewals.

I continue to look at pricing/packaging/licensing across the Notes/Domino products for other ways to simplify and streamline.  It's not always easy to change the way we do business with a product that has been in market for just a week shy of 21 years.  Still when it is the right thing to do, I'm willing to go for it.

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