IBM Offers Notes/Domino As A Hosted Messaging Service


The new Lotus Notes Hosted Messaging service joins other IBM cloud services including Lotus Sametime Unyte, a Web conferencing system based on technology from IBM's August 2007 acquisition, and the Bluehouse social networking and collaboration service that's now in beta.

As with those other services, channel partners will have the opportunity to sell the IBM Lotus Notes Hosted Messaging service, said John Dunderdale, IBM Lotus sales vice president.

IBM will host Domino on dedicated servers within its own data centers, a different approach from the multi-tenant architecture used by some on-demand software suppliers. While browser access to the service will be an option, Dunderdale said IBM expects most customers to run the Notes client on their desktops. "It's really user preference," he said.

IBM is targeting companies with 1,000 to 10,000 employees, although IBM said it could tailor software and service plans for smaller and larger companies.

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The service will be priced between $8 and $18 per user per month and features two service-level agreement options (99.5 and 99.9 percent availability), spam and virus filtering, and backup and restore services. Each mailbox will have one gigabyte of capacity.

IBM described the service as an effort to extend Notes to new customers, particularly in retail, global manufacturing and insurance companies. In a dig at Lotus' archrival, the IBM press release said the hosted Notes service is for customers "who are simply fed up with overpaying for commoditized Microsoft products."

Last month IBM debuted the Lotus iNotes application for Apple's popular iPhone.