Preview of Notes/Domino 7

* IBM/Lotus prepares Version 7 of Notes/Domino

IBM/Lotus soon will introduce Version 7 of its flagship messaging and collaboration system. One of the key features in Notes/Domino 7 will be the deep integration of presence in the Notes client.

Although presence-enablement is currently offered as part of Notes 6.5.1, presence will be integrated into all client functions in the new release. This should help IBM/Lotus maintain its leadership in the instant messaging market; Osterman Research continues to find that Lotus Instant Messaging (Sametime) is the leading enterprise-grade instant messaging product in use among organizations that have established a corporate IM standard.

On the server side, IBM/Lotus reports that Domino will support up to 80% more Notes mail users than Release 6.5, and that CPU utilization will be up to one-quarter lower. Another key feature of the new release will be its built-in monitoring capability that will look for bottlenecks and other problems, and recommend solutions.

For current users of Notes/Domino, the new release promises to provide additional capabilities for administrators and a better user experience. Microsoft is pursuing a similar course, integrating presence into Exchange and Office through Live Communication Server. The question is, will improvements in either system be enough to encourage organizations to migrate to the other side?

Plus, don’t forget Novell GroupWise, which still has about 10% market share and is pushing hard toward the release of GroupWise 7 (code-named Sequoia), not to mention a slew of other companies trying to persuade organizations large and small to move to an alternative platform.

IBM/Lotus reports that in 2004, 5 million users were migrated from Microsoft Exchange to Lotus Notes, and that in engagements where Notes/Domino competed directly against Exchange, Lotus won five out of six times. I don’t know who won what in engagements where other vendors were considered, but IBM/Lotus’ claim is impressive nonetheless.

I’d like to get your feedback on the factors that go into making a decision to migrate to another platform. What about the impact on users? What about the training that goes into a migration? If you’re in IT, why would you want to go through the pain of a migration in the first place? Please drop me a line at michael@ostermanresearch.com

From everyone who responds, we’ll randomly select one respondent to receive a $20 Starbucks gift card (to help you stay awake during your migration).

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Copyright © 2005 IDG Communications, Inc.

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