Ferris Research's blog tackles a topic this morning that has been the subject of much discussion...

It's generally quite difficult to make a reasonable business case for converting all the users in an organization from Notes to Exchange or vice versa. However, a single organization with both systems presents a more clear-cut opportunity. Enterprises maintaining more than one email system must deal with a number of factors that increase overall total cost of ownership and may make a migration worthwhile.
Ferris then goes on to examine potential areas to cost-justify a migration and how to analyze them.

This is a thought that cuts both ways.  Clearly, IBM has programs in place to help organizations Move2Lotus  Many of the "big name" migrations that have taken place to the Notes platform in the last couple of years match Ferris's criteria -- merger/acquisition scenarios or other platform consolidation decisions.  But those organizations that have made wholesale Exchange --> Notes migrations -- and admittedly, this isn't as frequent an occurrence as I'd like -- tend to justify their migration not through e-mail costs, but rather the expanded capabilities in collaborative applications, blogs, instant messaging, and enterprise integration.

Ferris's position emphasizes that e-mail for e-mail's sake is a "yesterday's news" decision for organizations.  The real value of running Notes 8, for example, is going to be moving beyond e-mail as the center of gravity to areas such as activity-centric computing and composite applications.  I believe that there will be market opportunity with Notes 8 to convert organizations running other e-mail systems.  "Better e-mail" will not be the reason for moving, but a benefit of the process.  In some cases, it might be the catalyst  -- organizations that are tired of Microsoft rip-and-replace migrations, the remaining Groupwise customers, etc. -- but realistically, if they somehow think that e-mail replacement will bring them benefit, there are twenty low-cost e-mail-only approaches to consider there.

In no way do I intend this to be an "e-mail is dead" response to Ferris's comment.  The Notes/Domino 8 team are building a ton of great new e-mail-focused features and improvements.  E-mail is going to be around for a long time.  But e-mail is no longer a technology that is driving increased value for organizations by itself, and the time for looking at it as such has passed.

Link: Ferris: The Cost of Migrating Between Email Systems >

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