IBM is issuing two press releases today, one demonstrating overall momentum for the Lotus brand, and the other specifically focused on Lotus Foundations.  Here are some of the quotes:

Driven by guidance from Microsoft to abandon evaluation of currently-shipping products, Microsoft customers are choosing IBM Lotus software, driven by the higher return on investment and easier deployment of Lotus software.  At the recent Microsoft Tech Ed conference in Los Angeles, Microsoft executives advised customers to stop testing Vista and move to testing Windows 7.   The same advice was repeated for Microsoft customers who have not yet moved to Exchange 2007; they were told to skip it and wait for 2010. ....

The economic downturn is causing companies to  consider how to spend their strained information technology (IT) budgets more carefully.  As a result, an increasing number of customers are looking at  Lotus solutions over Microsoft to not only reduce their IT spending, but to help their employes work more effectively with fewer resources.  Since the launch of Lotus Notes 8 in August 2007, IBM has seen the fastest adoption for any release in the history of Notes and Domino, more than double that of previous releases.    

This rapid market acceptance of Notes & Domino 8 is driven, in part, by the 'green' nature of the product.  Domino 8 has been proven to lower the cost of ownership for enterprises  by as much as 30 percent as a result of new 'smart' capabilities that allow companies to reduce the number of severs needed;, drive down the hardware required to support mail files and attachments; and minimize administrative overhead.     ...

"While Microsoft is telling customers they need to wait seven years for major enhancements to Exchange and Windows, Lotus continues to deliver new releases with richer capabilities on time," said Picciano.   "Clients are embracing IBM's holistic view of collaboration as a means of working smarter and more efficiently with powerful Web 2.0 and social software tools.  The net effect is our clients' employees are collaborating at a much deeper, more profound level, gaining insight and productivity while lowering their IT spending."

In another sign of market momentum, a record 20,000, customers attended Lotus events this year, an increase of 39 percent worldwide over 2008..
and from the Foundations announcement:
Facing increased demand for IBM products, more than 1,000 Microsoft Business Partners have already signed up to sell IBM's Lotus Foundations "office-in-a-box" appliance for small and medium sized businesses (SMBs) in the first five months of 2009.

According to Microsoft business partners, sales of Microsoft's Small Business Server (SBS) software bundle have slowed due to lack of innovation and partner dissatisfaction with their inability to add solutions and services.  Microsoft partners are looking for an alternative that provides SMB customers with more collaboration computing power for less money and more reliability in these challenging economic times.  

"Lotus Foundations is a complete, cost-effective solution that easily scales as a business grows.  When you add users, you know exactly what it will cost and the functionality you'll get," said Bernie Leung of Mesa Technology.   "With Microsoft SBS, you always have to worry about what additional licenses you will have to purchase - the SQL client is just one example."
You can find these releases here.

Honestly, it really amazes me that Microsoft even gets any more traction in their "Notes Compete" efforts.  The three amigos are in their fourth (or longer) year of trying this.  If they were really winning customers away from us, why would they need to keep increasing this effort, year on year, for more than four years running?  

In fact, I've heard two amazing reports from customers in progress of migrating from Notes to MS the last few days.  One is a large multi-national where people's jobs are being threatened if they don't get in line with the goal of migrating off Notes by 2010...setting up internal political showdowns where people who actually care how the business is running are having to fight bureaucracy that made a commitment to migrate, regardless of reality.  In another, I hear the service provider is in legal trouble for not being able to execute the migration in the timeframe that was originally committed.  My personal favorite is the customer who is migrating to Microsoft's hosted offering, which included the first step of having to physically relocate their Domino servers into Microsoft data centers in order to begin the process...obviously adding cost and complexity.   I wonder why Microsoft doesn't tout these references.

So bottom line on today's news -- our installed base continues to grow, we're winning in a variety of accounts, and Microsoft (and other) customers are coming our way.  In the next few months, we have a lot more excitement coming.  You'll want to be along for the ride.

Link: ibm.com: Companies Choosing Lotus Collaboration to Work Smarter and  Lower Costs >
Link: ibm.com: 200+ Microsoft Partners Per Month Flocking to Sell IBM Lotus Foundations >

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