On Monday, IBM will formally announce LotusLive iNotes: business-quality, cloud-based, low-cost email.  At a list price of US$36/user/year, LotusLive iNotes delivers the right tools to provide email to a broad range of users, along with sibling roots and integration with Lotus Notes/Domino and LotusLive Notes.  There was a lot of coverage today about the launch, and the press clearly understood who stood to lose from IBM's new offering, starting with Reuters:

IBM is introducing an inexpensive Web-based corporate email service that will compete with Google Inc's Google Apps, which has recently suffered several high-profile outages.  International Business Machines Corp will likely try to capitalize on the damage that those outages have caused to Google Apps over the past year. Last month millions of business users could not access email for almost two hours.

An IBM spokesman said on Thursday that the company will start selling its LotusLive iNotes next week. The lightweight email service will cost $36 per user per year, about 25 percent less than what Google charges for a more robust product.

IBM's offering does not have as many bells and whistles as Google's, but the technology giant could attract more customers because it has decades more experience serving the business market. Its products include Lotus Notes, one of the world's two most widely used email programs.

Google, on the other hand, generates the bulk of its revenue from advertisements placed on free search products targeted at consumers. It is just getting into the business of selling to businesses.

"The IBM brand will help a lot," said Forrester Research Inc analyst Liz Herbert.

Or, as Gartner analyst Matt Cain put it, "This is trouble for Google."

IBM now offers the most complete set of email services -- on-premises, hosted, or cloud.  And the launch of LotusLive iNotes represents a next phase, not a destination.  We will continue to evolve the LotusLive Notes offering for Domino-based cloud services, while of course continuing to deliver the best-in-class on-premises tools in Lotus Notes and Domino 8.5.1...very soon.

Link: LotusLive.com E-mail Solutions >

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